Clinton campaigns in Chillicothe to sway Ohio voters

Frank Lewis

November 1, 2012

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

Former President Bill Clinton was in Chillicothe Thursday night, touring the state to campaign for President Barack Obama’s re-election. With only days remaining until the election on Tuesday, Clinton also made stops in Perrysburg and Akron as both parties make their final pushes for winning the political battleground state of Ohio.

Doors opened at Ohio University’s Shoemaker Center, in Chillicothe, at 7:45 p.m.

Charlie Neal, communications chair of the Scioto County Democratic Party, said early Thursday that he and others from the local party were headed to see Clinton in Chillicothe. He said it’s important for Clinton to connect with Ohio voters.

“Ohio is important because this is a more industrial and manufacturing people, and they have been through history working men and women. That’s why I think it’s so important to work Ohio, to make sure you get to all of those people so they can understand what’s at stake in the election,” Neal said.

With 18 electoral votes up-for-grabs and a history of swinging in either direction, Ohio is a hotly contested state in the upcoming election. The President announced his re-election campaign from The Ohio State University on May 5, and Vice President Joe Biden campaigned at Portsmouth High School on Sept. 9. The Romney Campaign has made plenty of its own stops in southern Ohio, including Mitt Romney’s visit to Shawnee State University on Oct. 13 and Chillicothe on Aug. 14, and Craig Romney’s visit to the Scioto County Republican Headquarters on Sept. 8.

The latest Rasmmussen opinion poll of likely Ohio voters showed Obama holding a narrow lead over challenger Mitt Romney (50-48) in the state. That shows an increase for Obama over last week when Rassmussen had both candidates tied in Ohio with 48 percent. Quinnepac polling of likely voters also had Obama over Romney in Ohio, 50-45.

“I feel it’s important when we look at the polls that say the state’s in-play, I don’t believe the polls,” Neal said. “The fact that people with landlines has changed dramatically, there’s only about a third of the people that once had landlines that have them now. Until they can be able to do their polling and catch all of the citizens, and look at everyone with cell phones, I think they’ missing their polling and I think if they got a true polling they would find a truly different race going on.”

In response to a question posted on the Portsmouth Daily Times Facebook page asking readers to share their feelings about the election and the candidates, Stephanie Waller responded “Only a Democrat could prevent a depression, end a war, get bin Laden and double the Dow then be told he can’t run on his record.”

On the opposing end of the argument, Bob-Ruth McDonie posted, “Mr. Obama has not been running our country, he has been ruining our country. I just hope and pray that the people of this great country will open their eyes and see the truth before it’s too late.”

Supporting neither candidate, Brian Pack posted in favor of the Libertarian Party.

“Bring the troops home! End marijuana prohibition! Vote Gary Johnson. The only real choice,” he said.

Nationally the polls remain divided and inconsistent. Gallup’s opinion poll of likely voters on Thursday had Obama leading over Romney, 51-46. Rassmussen’s daily tracking, however, showed Romney with the lead, 49-47. Fox News polls had the candidates tied at 46 percent.

Obama won Ohio in 2008, but without the help of Scioto County. It was the first time in 76 years that Scioto County did not agree with the rest of the state.

Ryan Scott Ottney can reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@heartlandpublications.com.