No Republican has ever been elected President while losing Ohio, which is why Democrats and their media allies have worked hard to exploit politically the continuing drain of manufacturing jobs from the state. The Washington Post, for example, ran a front-page story last week about Timken–a pro-Bush family-run specialty steel company that has recently declared two factories in Canton “uncompetitive” and is threatening to close them if it can’t negotiate concessions from the United Steelworkers local.
Timken’s difficulty in maintaining competitive plants in Ohio ought to worry both Republicans and Democrats, but state voters have not concluded John Kerry has the answer. A massive Cleveland Plain-Dealer poll (1,500 registered voters, +/- 2.6%) showed Bush beating Kerry in Ohio, 47% to 41%. Sixty-two per cent of Kerry supporters cited as their main reason for supporting the Democrat: “I’m not happy with President Bush.” Fifty-three per cent of Bush supporters cited as their main reason: “I like his character and integrity.”