As Trump returns, Clinton still absent: Dems focus less on NW Ohio this year
The Toledo Blade, September 18, 2016, Tom Troy
By this point in the last three presidential election campaigns, northwest Ohio had received at least one campaign visit from the Democratic presidential candidate.
So far this year, however, no city in northwest Ohio has made it on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s calendar, while Republican Donald Trump has scheduled his second rally in Toledo. Mr. Trump is to appear in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., at noon Wednesday.
Nor have any high-level Clinton surrogates set foot on the flat and formerly swampy soil of northwest Ohio so far in the general election campaign — although one is scheduled this week.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), popular with party progressives, campaigned Saturday in Columbus and is due today in Cleveland. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.), who was Mrs. Clinton’s strongest rival in the primary contest, campaigned for her in northeastern Ohio’s Akron and Kent on Saturday.
So far, in the general election phase of the campaign, Mrs. Clinton has made 10 public appearances in Ohio since June — once in Youngstown, two times in Columbus, three times in Cincinnati, and four times in Cleveland. Her running mate, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.), appeared with her in Youngstown and Columbus, and on his own in Dayton.
In the same period of time, Mr. Trump has made 12 public appearances, excluding his presence during the four-day Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. His coverage of the state has been broader, in keeping with his appeal to working-class whites. He’s been in St. Clairsville, Toledo, Youngstown, Akron, Columbus, Wilmington, Canton, and Canfield once each, as well as twice each in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Running mate Mike Pence appeared on his own in Lima on July 29.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has appeared in Ohio 10 times, including a stop in Cleveland on Labor Day.
Mrs. Clinton’s crowds are smaller and aren’t known for the same roaring enthusiasm. Her Labor Day appearance in Cleveland started an hour late and began with an uncomfortable several minutes of coughing by the candidate.
“Part of the calculation may be that they perceive she will underperform among rust belt regions of the state, while places around Cincinnati, with upper-income suburbanites, are more in play,” Mr. Broxmeyer said.
Mr. Cohen at the University of Akron said his study of candidate travel in Ohio shows him that northeast Ohio, particularly Cuyahoga County, “will be ground zero in Ohio.”
“HRC must get her troops out there and drive up her margins,” he said. “Trump is focusing on Youngstown and manufacturing areas.”
He said Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Kaine had visited Ohio as often as Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence, at least as of Sept. 6, and more than any other state. She struggles in Ohio because Mr. Trump’s message on trade and manufacturing decline resonates with working class white voters who are worried about jobs, immigration, and wage stagnation, he said.
Whether by train or plane, voters in Toledo and northwest Ohio are still waiting to see, and hear, Mrs. Clinton.