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ohio swing state election 2012 Ohio State Treasurer and Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel poses for a picture with Romney supporters who were protesting before an Obama campaign event, August 21, 2012, at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo: Joshua Bickel/Corbis)

Election 2012: Buckeye State Back and Forth

The why’s of Ohio’s political status

By Zarin Loosli | null null , null

Among the nine swing states that may determine the next President of the United States, Ohio is perhaps the most prominent. It has a history of being a highly contested territory and is consistently an accurate indicator of the winner, having sided with the losing candidate only once. According to the Huffington Post, the “18 electoral votes and divided electorate make it a crucial swing state.” Both candidates agree this is a state worth fighting for, which is why both have been strategically campaigning there for several months.

A swing state is a state that could easily fall in either candidate’s favor. It is a state in which its residents are equally split between Democrats and Republicans. This election year, the swing states include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, and, of course, Ohio. These are also classified as battleground states.

For instance, a Republican candidate (the more conservative of the two major parties) can expect to be victorious in many of the Southern states like Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina, which historically have a very conservative culture and a pattern of voting for Republican candidates. They could also expect to win states like Wyoming, Idaho, and Nebraska, which share conservative values and have had an even longer history of voting Republican. Similarly, the same candidate can expect to fail in California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York, which are traditionally liberal states. A presidential nominee is better off campaigning in states that are undecided, since it is a waste of time and money to campaign in a place that consistently votes a certain way.

President Barack Obama definitely has a chance to win again in Ohio. (He won the state in 2008, too.) An article released on ABC News’s website says that unemployment has dropped in Ohio since last August, skewering Mitt Romney’s argument that Obama’s policies are destroying the economy.

Favoring Romney is the fact that though things may have improved in Ohio, the national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent is still hovering above the promise Obama made in 2008.

Though it seems like Ohio is tilting in Obama’s favor in recent polls, the race is far from over. Being a swing state means one thing: it can go back and forth, so the eyes of the country will remain focused on the Buckeye State.

Read more about the swing states that could determine the winner of the 2012 presidential election in the 2012 Swing States Special Report.


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