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Ohio Democrats Unsure If Economy Will Help or Hurt President Obama in November

Local Democrats want to see the president focus on the positives in the state’s economy.

Northeast Ohio Democrats are divided on whether the state’s economy will help or hurt President Barack Obama’s campaign this fall.

In , Democratic insiders were split on how they thought the economy would affect the election this fall, but they knew they wanted the president to focus on the positives and tie failures to the competition.

About 45 percent of all respondents thought Ohio’s economy would hurt the president’s chances of winning the state this November. About a third thought it would help the campaign, and almost 20 percent were neutral.

But the Democrats we surveyed were united in thinking that Obama should focus on the positives in Ohio’s economy, including our lower-than-average unemployment rate. About 85 percent said they strongly or somewhat agreed with the idea. Only 6 percent opposed it.

“The voters of Ohio are smart,” said one insider who responded to the survey. “They see the jobs President Obama saved by helping the auto industry in our great state. They realize Gov. Romney was opposed to helping the auto industry and that would have led to far more job losses. They also see the public sector shedding jobs while the private sector is growing.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in June. In Ohio, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent.

Another tactic that most of our respondents wanted to see the president try was tying the state’s economic struggles to previous Republican policies. About 64 percent strongly or somewhat agreed with the idea, while about 27 percent were opposed.

“Because Ohio is a swing state, there are very few economic policies that belong to only one political party,” said an insider who responded to the survey, adding that Obama can reach out to undecided voters by “using GOP policies as both a sword and shield.” The respondent wanted to see the Democrats take credit for extending unemployment benefits and defending Medicare, and argued that the Republicans focused on ideological priorities.

What do you think? Will the economy help or hurt the Democrats in the election this fall?

This is the latest installment of our Red/Bue Ohio series, in which we gather opinion and insight from influential local Democratic and Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in Northeast Ohio.

Want to participate? If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in regular surveys that last only a few minutes, please e-mail Senior Regional Editor Jean Dubail at jean.dubail@patch.com.

MZ August 10, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Additonal spending on public workers does not help the economy grow. The money has to come from somewhere. As an owner of small businesses I can assure you that each addtional dollar taken from me in the form of taxes is one less dollar that I can use to grow the business. If your theory worked, then we should immediately hire every unemployed person to a government high paying job. Actually, we should eliminate the private market and just have everyone work for the government...just like all those successful communist countries did last century. Worked out great for them.
James Thomas August 13, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Mr. Mihaly, this was a Democratic Primary candidate legitimately elected by the Democratic voters of Tennessee and he was disavowed. Some Big Tent.
Colter95 November 04, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I saw Obama yesterday claiming the new job numbers are proof that his policies are working and that we are in an economic recovery... Fact is, that is not the truth, or even close to the truth... First, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% and the year-to-date monthly average of 157,000 payroll jobs is barely enough to keep up with population growth -- much less make up for the 8 million jobs lost during the Great Recession. Second, the so-called real unemployment rate (U6) remains elevated at 14.6%, albeit down from 14.7% the prior month. Similarly, the labor participation rate is at 63.8%, up from its multi-decade low but still incredibly weak. Third, average hourly earnings fell a penny in October and average hours worked fell to 34.4 from 34.5 in September. Stagnant wages means "we're not generating income," Reinhart says. "That's a problem in terms of the durability of an economic expansion, which is usually fueled by consumption. To get consumption you've got to generate income." Also, just look at your checkbook. We are paying a lot more for everything now than we did in 2008. The price of gas has doubled. At the same time, wages have gone down, and that's if you're lucky to have a job. In 2008, 25 banks went out of business. In 2012, 48 banks have gone out of business. Almost double the amount. Does that sound like recovery to you? Don't believe the Obama lies!! Romney/Ryan 2012
Colter95 November 04, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Obama is a failure: • 2009 Mandatory spending: $1.89 trillion (+6.2%) 
o $644 billion – Social Security 
o $360 billion – Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending 
o $408 billion – Medicare 
o $224 billion – Medicaid 
o $260 billion – Interest on National Debt 
• 2010 Mandatory spending: $2.173 trillion (+14.9%) 
o $695 billion (+4.9%) – Social Security 
o $571 billion (+58.6%) – Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending 
o $453 billion (+6.6%) – Medicare 
o $290 billion (+12.0%) – Medicaid 
o $164 billion (+18.0%) – Interest on National Debt Obama’s and his Democrat Senator pals 2010 budget spent $283 Billion more in just 1 year. That’s a 15% increase……in 1 year!! Look at the increased spending in WELFARE……$211 BILLION!!!! 1 year!!! 
Did our Senator VOTE YES to do this knowing there was NO MONEY to pay for it and ADDING more burden to our poor children and grandchildren.
Colter95 November 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Wrong on the economy, wrong on Benghazi, and wrong on the auto bailout... The time for real change is NOW!! http://www.policymic.com/articles/14285/obama-lies-obama-auto-bailout-did-not-rescue-detroit http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-outsourcer-overreach/ http://twitchy.com/2012/10/23/obama-lies-about-romneys-position-on-auto-bailouts-conservatives-hit-back/ http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jack-coleman/2012/10/26/letterman-slams-obama-auto-bailout-lie-followed-maddow-parroting-same- Romney/Ryan 2012

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