The Lesson of Ohio: Industrial Strategy

The election is not over yet, but today there’s an even worse poll out of Ohio for Mitt than the 8 point Obama lead that WaPo had yesterday: a NYT/CBS/Q poll showing Obama leading by 10, 53-43.

And so beltway pundits are trying to figure out what went wrong for the rich douchebag who said one of America’s key companies should be let go bankrupt.

Alec MacGillis, relying on 3 reporting trips, provides 6 possible reasons at TNR:

  1.  Misunderstanding on the part of DC pundits that Obama’s problem with working class white is largely limited to Appalachia and the South
  2. Obama’s successful attacks on Mitt as a guy who outsourced jobs at Bain
  3. Backlash to Governor Kasich’s efforts to roll back public unions
  4. OH’s improving job picture
  5. Kasich’s greater interest in saving himself than helping Mitt
  6. The auto bailout

And CNN, relying on mostly anonymous Republicans, provides the following explanations:

  • The auto bailout
  • Mitt’s top-down approach and the ease with which he has been portrayed as a “plutocrat married to a known equestrian”
  • Mitt’s failure to provide inspiration about the future
  • Alienation among OH’s women
  • Kasich’s efforts to claim credit for job turnaround rather than help Mitt

Now, aside from Mitt being a rich douchebag beating up on the people who work hard in this country–which Tim Ryan was too polite to bring up yesterday–these explanations aren’t all that different from a Democratic Congressman representing one of the most manufacturing-reliant districts in the country had to say.

Obama is winning OH–and therefore is winning this election–because he gets to claim credit for policies that have supported manufacturing and jobs more generally, and because he is less associated with bashing public unions than Mitt and Mitt’s surrogates.

It’s funny. Even while Republicans keep focusing on Mitt’s advantage on the deficit, what seems to have worked here is actually investment, not cutting spending. Which would actually be another, better way of addressing the deficit.

6 replies
  1. greengiant says:

    Maybe if Mitt was running against Rahm, Mitt would have a better chance?
    On the one hand it shows outsourcing union busting might have helped Mitt in the polls. On the other, I am getting several facebook shares a day from union and pro choice relatives. The example Mitt supporter, when still allowed to comment, barks like a wild animal oblivious to rational discourse and goes on and on about the Obama deficit monster.
    In days past some vote delivery was run like an affinity scam. Does social networking reinforce more independent speech by removing inhibitions? Or do social networks multiply the effect of the union and pro choice affinities?
    Carl Rove must be having a great time surfing the new realities of communication.

  2. BSbafflesbrains says:

    Mitt was never a serious candidate for the Right and if you recall there wasn’t really a serious candidate offered. This is just a main stream media circus or kabuki show. Obama could not survive a real debate sans fallacious argument with Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson or almost any of the OWS non-leaders from Zucotti Park (like Jesse La Greca).

  3. Arbusto says:

    After taking some anti-nauseous tablets so I could watch a bit of Ms Maddow on MSNBC,she was pontificating on Romney and Co embracing polls adjusted to unskew the last 20 national polls that showed preference for Obama LLC over Romney LLC. Since the GOP is attempting to rewrite history from 2001 onward for Bushco, this seems only right for the GOP to do. Romney is now unskewed and leading.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Light bulbs going on in Ohio union workers heads that they are going to get a better environment for work from Obama. Too many of them lost their fair wage jobs and are working at Wal Mart for 8.oo an hour. Then after some union folks were gullible enough to vote for Kasich and Kasich shoved a broom stick up union workers collective asses they really got it.

    Was up in Columbus last year when SB 5 was defeated. Had helped union members collect thousands of signatures. Lots of great conversations On the MSNBC Ed show set. The shirt that was worn by many “we will remember next November” 2012

    But folks are watching for the Obama supports gay marriage leaflets coming out a week or so before the election. This will sway some but not as many as in the past

  5. klynn says:


    Go back to our auto bailout posts. (I know I did a few diary posts with stats for Ohio that I caught Krugman quoting the next day.) Read those stats for Ohio I put up that included second and third tier. The number of jobs saved in Ohio is a great deal higher than people realize now.

    You did a heck of a job with writing your posts for the need for the bailout. And policy makers were reading them. Thank you.

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