Perennial Swing State Ohio Looks Blue

Rejuvenated local Dems bode well for Obama campaign
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2008 11:14 AM CDT
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland introduces Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Barack's wife Michelle Obama, Friday, June 13, 2008, in Columbus, Ohio.    (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
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(Newser) – Ohio is the ultimate swing state: Since 1960 no president has been elected without winning its electoral votes, and in 2004, by the narrowest of margins, it delivered George W. Bush a second term. But this time around, Democrats are confident of their chances, the Economist reports. The state party has been rejuvenated after a long spell in the political wilderness.

2006 was good for Ohio Democrats: Sherrod Brown easily flipped a Senate seat, Ted Strickland rode a 24-point victory into the governor's mansion, and Dems took control of virtually all state offices. But this year's polls remain close, with Barack Obama holding an average lead of just 1.5 points. But its fate will probaly hinge on turnout—and the bigger, hungrier Democratic Party should give John McCain lots to worry about.