With the 2020 Democrat Party primaries heating up, much attention has been drawn to states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina due to the convention caucuses. In anticipation for the upcoming 2020 presidential election, states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas have drawn the attention of both political parties. Whoever wins the Democratic primary has to take back the swing states that President Donald Trump won. But one swing state that is being overlooked is our home - Ohio.
Ohio is a crucial swing state. Since Washington D.C. was given electoral votes in the 1964 presidential election, Ohio has voted for the eventual president in 14 consecutive elections. As CNN columnist Chris Cillizza wrote in the Washington Post in 2012, “As Ohio goes, so goes the presidential race.” In both 2008 and 2012, Ohio voted for Barack Obama by an average 3.8%. Ohio swung heavily for Trump in 2016, giving him an 8.1% victory.
Since Ohio is historically important in winning elections, why haven't politicians made winning Ohio a priority? Ohio has the seventh most electoral votes - more than both Michigan and Wisconsin. Yet by news coverage, one would think Ohio has less. We hear constantly about Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but Republicans didn't have to rely on them for decades. Ohio is a state that both political parties have had to rely on to win.
The argument that Ohio isn't important in winning the 2020 presidential election because it heavily swung in favor of Trump is foolish.
In 1972, Texas voted for Richard Nixon by 33%. In 1976, it ended up being a factor for Jimmy Carter in defeating Gerald Ford. While Watergate was a big contributor, Carter appealing to the southern states like Texas helped him win the White House. Just because Ohio voted Republican, doesn't mean it can't vote Democrat in 2020.
Democrats could make a case to win Ohio. With General Motors closing plants in Ohio, the rise of manufacturing jobs under Trump has not been entirely felt, despite a booming economy. This could be a huge counter-argument, but instead the trade war with China has grabbed the headlines.
In terms of areas with most importance to winning Ohio, one would look no further than Hamilton County. Hamilton County could be the most crucial county in winning Ohio. It has swung Democrat in recent years, with Trump losing to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by 40,000 votes in 2016, despite winning Ohio.
Trump held a campaign rally in Cincinnati Aug. 1 to draw up support. While the rally had over 15,000 supporters, it was clear that many protestors showed up to make their opinion heard. As such a contested area, both parties should make Hamilton County a priority.
Our home is still a crucial swing state, and politicians running for president shouldn't forget that.