Ohio State, long considered as the bellwether of politics in the United States, has dipped in importance in 2016. The signs are all there: Hillary Clinton, the presidential nominee from the Democratic Party, has not set foot on the state for quite some time now. She last came on Labor Day-effectively sending the message that the Democrats have accepted the state as a Republican stronghold.
For Ohio, it was not always like this. Come elections and candidates would beeline towards the state. Its residents would be bombarded with non-stop television commercials. There would be breathless, per county tallies on the state’s voting returns. Ohio Democrats enjoyed rock concert like rallies like John Kerry in Columbus and Cleveland with Bruce Springsteen in tow in 2016. President Obama, during his re-election campaign, visited Ohio five times in September, 2012. There is good reason for such kowtowing to Ohio: no candidate of Democratic Party and Republican Party won White House sans Ohio from the John F. Kennedy time in 1960.
Democrats have a bleak chance to win in 2016 in Ohio. The relentless anti-trade campaign by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s lackluster efforts in wooing the young voters in the state has opened the doors for the Republican nominee. In private conversations, Clinton aides have admitted that their candidate have better chance of winning in states like Florida, North Carolina and Colorado. All these states have bigger proportion of non-white or educated voters.
Ohio is an overwhelming 80 percent white, and its demographic has little resemblance with modern United States. According to Michael F. Curtin, state legislator from the Democratic Party, the state is similar to a melting iceberg. He pointed out that the state has a minimal hispanic population and Asians have not settled in the state in large numbers. It resembles the United States as it was about 40 years back.
There is confusion among pollsters whether the state would turn electorally prohibitive for Democrats in the presidential races in the future. This could be determined by the options taken by national parties post-election. The Republicans could continue the Trump populist approach on trade and immigration, and not be business friendly. David Wilhelm, the former Democratic Chairman, is of the opinion if the future Republican Party takes the Trump line and Democrats the Obama line, then Democrats will lose in the state.