Northeast Ohio Democrats are divided on whether the state’s economy will help or hurt President Barack Obama’s campaign this fall.
In , Democratic insiders were split on how they thought the economy would affect the election this fall, but they knew they wanted the president to focus on the positives and tie failures to the competition.
About 45 percent of all respondents thought Ohio’s economy would hurt the president’s chances of winning the state this November. About a third thought it would help the campaign, and almost 20 percent were neutral.
But the Democrats we surveyed were united in thinking that Obama should focus on the positives in Ohio’s economy, including our lower-than-average unemployment rate. About 85 percent said they strongly or somewhat agreed with the idea. Only 6 percent opposed it.
“The voters of Ohio are smart,” said one insider who responded to the survey. “They see the jobs President Obama saved by helping the auto industry in our great state. They realize Gov. Romney was opposed to helping the auto industry and that would have led to far more job losses. They also see the public sector shedding jobs while the private sector is growing.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in June. In Ohio, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent.
Another tactic that most of our respondents wanted to see the president try was tying the state’s economic struggles to previous Republican policies. About 64 percent strongly or somewhat agreed with the idea, while about 27 percent were opposed.
“Because Ohio is a swing state, there are very few economic policies that belong to only one political party,” said an insider who responded to the survey, adding that Obama can reach out to undecided voters by “using GOP policies as both a sword and shield.” The respondent wanted to see the Democrats take credit for extending unemployment benefits and defending Medicare, and argued that the Republicans focused on ideological priorities.
What do you think? Will the economy help or hurt the Democrats in the election this fall?
This is the latest installment of our Red/Bue Ohio series, in which we gather opinion and insight from influential local Democratic and Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in Northeast Ohio.
Want to participate? If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in regular surveys that last only a few minutes, please e-mail Senior Regional Editor Jean Dubail at email@example.com.