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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Thursday, September 16, 2004

    Ohioblog calls Southeast Ohio for Bush 

    Back with another Ohioblog report on The Columbus Dispatch statewide tour: Today, Southeast Ohio.

    Southeast Ohio is the trickiest section of the state, Dispatch reporter Catherine Candisky points out: ``In the 11 presidential elections since 1960, nine Appalachian counties switched parties seven times.

    That is a lot of numbers. So let's reduce them to their essence: Nobody knows who will win these counties that are mostly along the winding Ohio River, but whoever does can and should win Ohio and, perhaps, the nation.

    According to a recent Dispatch poll, President Bush leads in this section, which is no surprise. Despite the highest unemployment in the state, economics won't decide Southeast Ohio. Values will.

    These two quotes are telling:

    Joe Unger, 44, shoe store owner in Ironton: ``This is a moral county. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, most people aren't in favor of abortion and they aren't in favor of gay marriage, I'm a Bush supporter because of his values.''

    And Jill Freeman, 29, owner of Merle Norman Cosmetics in Portsmouth: ``I'm a Christian before I'm a business owner.''

    Ohioblog knows the new rule is not to call the winner of a state (or region) before the polls close, but no one said not to do this before the polls opened. So, if Democrat John Kerry is going to beat Bush, he will need a few more votes from Ohio's urban areas, because ``values'' will to swing Southeast Ohio to the president in this swing state.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 9:20 AM

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