September 26, 2012 / by emptywheel


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.

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