Analyzing Swing States: Ohio, Part 2

This is the second part on a series analyzing the swing state Ohio. Part three can be found here.

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Unlike Florida and Pennsylvania, Ohio cannot be easily divided into geographically distinct regions (although they do exist). Instead, I will be examining it through the lens of both partys' strongholds in the state.

History

During the late eighteenth century Ohio was a consistently Republican state, the equivalent today of North Dakota or Arizona. Democrats often came close behind - four or five points - but never quite won the state until 1912. Their stronghold lay in a ring of rural counties populated by German immigrants (a pattern that has completely disappeared today). But this was never enough to overcome Republican strength everywhere else.

It was Franklin Roosevelt who changed this pattern forever. He laid the foundations of Ohio's structural politics, which exist to this very day. Roosevelt brought in previously hostile working-class counties along the northeast section of the state. He also shifted most of Ohio's northern cities to the Democratic side - which had previously leaned Republican.

To see the effect, look below the fold.

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Cleveland Postal Workers Send Local Union Mail to Educate Fellow Members About Barack Obama

On September 19, APWU 72 activists mailed 2,100 mailings to active and retired members of APWU 72, which covers the Cleveland, Ohio area.  The mailing included a letter from APWU 72 President Danny Pride and a flyer about Sen. Barack Obama's policies on working families' issues.  

Mr. Pride said, "The active members' main concern right now is really the economy, because it is in such a tailspin that it affects the wages and how far you can stretch a dollar.  And with the collapse of these major institutions here lately, I'm sure it's going to create some more anxiety.  Fortunately for us, we have a very good collective bargaining agreement which kind of buffers us from some of that," but because even union workers must consider their economic foundation shaky these days, it's important to make sure they have the information they need to make educated decisions on Election Day.  

Beverly Shealy, President of APWU 72 Retirees' Chapter, said that for member education, local union mail is ideal, especially for reaching retired workers.  "All of them aren't able to come down to our retiree meetings, so if we keep them informed by a mailing then it keeps them abreast upon what's going on," she said.  

There's more...

Show me your papers!

It's still going on, but some people are speaking out. I wrote this back in December, before I joined this site:

My husband and I were on our way home from a warm and happy holiday with my family in Cleveland. We took the train, which passed trough Erie, PA. Then a strange thing happened. US Border Patrol got on the train and started asking everyone if they were from the US. If you said "no" or if you had an accent they asked for a passport.

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Cleveland cleavage

In a diary a couple of days ago I posted a map showing precinct-level results in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Unfortunately, due to a programming bug that map was erroneous, overstating Obama support generally. Here's a corrected map (click for larger version):

The true picture of Cuyahoga's 1,436 precincts reveals a very sharp racial divide in the voting, with Obama very strong in the black concentrations on the east side, but not so much elsewhere. Clinton won heavily in the white, blue-collar Democratic strongholds, as well as in most of the traditionally Republican towns along the periphery, the exceptions being in the wealthy Republican suburbs on the eastern boundary, where Obama generally prevailed. Overall, Obama won the county 53%-46%.

more...

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Appraising Cuyahoga --- with maps

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has posted unofficial precinct-level primary results:

March 4, 2008 Unofficial Precinct Detail Report (pdf file)

I put that data into a spreadsheet, along with geographic location of the 1436 precincts, allowing maps to be made.

Here's the main pattern of Clinton/Obama support (click for a larger version):

More below...

There's more...

Diaries

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