News / USA

Jobs Are Top Issue for Voters in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, center, talks with union supporters of his re-election campaign at the Building Laborers' Hall in Cleveland, 19 Oct 2010
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, center, talks with union supporters of his re-election campaign at the Building Laborers' Hall in Cleveland, 19 Oct 2010

Multimedia

The Midwestern state of Ohio has long been considered a "battleground" state in U.S. elections.  As voters head to the polls in November, they will elect a Governor and Senator along with other officials.  Republicans running in those races are ahead of their Democratic party rivals in recent polls.  Rising unemployment is the biggest concern for Ohio voters.

Wilmington bookstore owner Dan Stewart said there is one major issue influencing the way he will vote in Ohio's midterm elections this November.  "In this area it's definitely jobs.  I can't think of anything that's more important to us than jobs right now."

Stewart had a job with the largest employer in the region - German shipping company DHL Express.  It operated a massive airport in Wilmington that employed up to 8,000 people at its peak.  "Basically, if you could breathe, they would hire you."

But in 2008, DHL - which acquired the facility when it purchased Airborne Express in 2003 - announced it was shutting down its Wilmington operation.  The move put thousands of people out of work, including Stewart, and sent the unemployment rate in Clinton County skyrocketing.

Mark Rembert is Co-Director of "Energize Clinton County," an organization founded to help explore ways to bring jobs back to Wilmington and the surrounding area.  He said, "In 2007 our unemployment rate was about five percent, which was close to the national average.  Today we're at about 16 percent.  We've peaked out at about 19 percent.  And in reality, we're probably around twenty to 25 percent.  Jobs sort of dominate every discussion here.  There are really few issues that exist beyond the job issue and how do we bring employment back to the state of Ohio."

Politicians have keyed into that issue.

Former Republican Congressman John Kasich is running for Governor of Ohio against the incumbent Governor, Democrat Ted Strickland.  One of Kasich's campaign commercials profiles the loss of jobs at the DHL facility.

Susan Holliday is currently an Extension Educator for Ohio State University, which sponsors a program designed to educate laid off workers about resources available to them.  Holliday, who lost her previous job in Clinton County, does not blame current Governor Ted Strickland for Ohio's unemployment woes.  "I don't think that's fair at all.  If another Governor had been in there, he couldn't have made any difference.  I can't imagine how he could have made it any different."

As the blame game over job losses plays out across Ohio, each candidate is trying to court Independent voters like Stewart, who is not as concerned with what happened in the past, as about what will happen in the future.  "They're trying to convince me they've got the best plan, and whether or not they can convince me or not, that's a different issue."

Recent polling indicates Kasich is convincing more voters he's the best candidate for Governor.  A recent Quinnipiac poll shows Kasich leads Strickland 51 percent to 41 percent among likely voters in Ohio.


You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid