Has Ohio, widely considered the swinging gate that allows presidential candidates entry into the White House, become an exclusive portal for Republicans, and a lock to send President Donald Trump back to the White House in 2020?
Recent media reports — many highlighting GOP operatives who are eager to promote an early narrative on the nascent presidential campaign — suggest that Democrats are giving up on winning the Buckeye State’s 18 electoral votes in next year’s election. As this line of reasoning goes, Trump won the state by 8% in 2016 and continues to be popular enough that Democratic presidential hopefuls aren’t even going to try to win over Ohioans whose votes for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 sent him to the Oval Office.
In a recent opinion piece on CNN’s website, Scott Jennings, who worked in President George W. Bush’s administration and served as a campaign adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), all but encouraged Democratic presidential hopefuls to abandon Ohio as a lost cause.
Brown said the key for Democrats in Ohio is to make sure voters get to the polls. “In 2016, people took it for granted and a lot of people stayed home,” she said. “That won’t happen this time around.”