Bush-Obama Ohio Counties
“I think it shows that the Republican Party is in disarray. Somewhere along the line over the past four years, the Republican Party just got off message and the only thing the party stands for is to make Obama is a one term president. That is all the party seems to stand for right now.”
Charles Haskell, Registered Republican who voted for President Obama in 2008, Lake County
“No, actually I’m not surprised Romney won. He’s probably, of the Republican candidates, the most level-headed of them. But he does talk out of both sides of his mouth, like all the candidates do. I haven’t spoken to any Republican who actually voted for him. The Republicans I know all say, ‘We don’t care who the Republicans put up. We’re voting for Obama again.’”
Bob Aufuldish, Democract, Lake County Commissioner
“A few days prior to last night, I thought Santorum would win. But in the last weekend I had heard that Governor Romney spent about $14 million in advertising in Ohio compared to Rick Santorum’s $1 million. So I think he flooded the airwaves and got his message out. I believe there was negative advertising as well, which other people don’t like. Time after time it proves to be effective as part of a campaign. I’m not really surprised that he edged out the win there. One other thing too, I’m looking at the Ohio Secretary of State’s webpage and I noticed that pretty much that Governor Romney won more urban areas of Ohio and Rick Santorum pretty much cleaned up in the rural areas of Ohio. I think that was the difference. Romney targeted his audience more toward the urban centers. Or at least his message resonated better with folks who live in the urban areas…. Lake County is the 11th largest in terms of population in Ohio and traditionally has been one of the more populated counties in recent times. The neighboring county to the east is Ashtabula County which is very rural and sparsely populated. Lake County is kind of the end of the suburb ring of Cleveland… I talked to the election co-director this morning. And she predicted there would be a 35-40% voter turnout, and the number was actually around 30%. So obviously there weren’t as many voters interested this time and I think that’s a direct result of people not sure which candidate they’re supporting on the Republican side I should say. I don’t think people are solidly behind one candidate or another.
John Hutchison, Politics Editor, The News Herald, Lake County
“I think they [voters] are… looking for that star, that exceptional person. And the thing is I think that in the Republican field we have a lot of exceptional people who are running. And because of that, no one is really shining out. If you think of 1980, Ronald Reagan stood out among everybody who was running, whereas the candidates you have here are different levels of being conservative. I think that might not make people excited. Also our candidates are talking about some pretty serious issues, and having to deal with some serious matters… I would say I’m a half full person. Here are the issues that are going on: The candidates are talking about energy issues, energy crisis. That’s pretty serious. Jobs. Economy. On the international front they’re talking about the issues with Iran and with relations with a lot of different countries, including Russia. We’ve got trade issues with China and currency issues. But then with Russia you’ve got the rise of Putin back again. How is that going to affect the world stage? And then you’ve got the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. The issues are out there. They’re just extremely serious. And I don’t know that you can be exciting. I think sometimes it’s going to be pretty dull, boring stuff that might be the big issues.
And one of the things, talk about excitement. In 2008 you had a very contentious campaign on the Democratic side between two candidates who were going to make history no matter what. Whether it’s the first woman or the first African American. And so that same excitement is not going to be around this campaign because it’s a different campaign. It’s a different election. You’ve got a man who has been President now for four years and a lot of the grandiose things that he promised fours years ago, he’s just not able to make those same promises today. And the people who are running against him are going to be talking about some policy issues, some things that are necessarily not exciting.”
Matt Reger, Bowling Green City Prosecutor, Chairman of the Wood County Republican Party, and Adjunct Instructor of Legal Studies at Bowling Green State University