Hamilton County poised to go back to “red” this fall?

Ted Strickland, governor of the U.S. state of Ohio
Ted Strickland, governor of the U.S. state of Ohio. Image via Wikipedia

It’s campaign season and candidates all across the region and the state are in full campaign mode. Or are they?

In 2008, Hamilton County tilted toward the Democratic side for the first time since 1967 when President Lyndon Johnson lead that party’s ticket. Now, two years later and some signs point toward a red win, thanks, it appears, to party and supporter apathy.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in a Sept. 5 Columbus Dispatch poll, trailed former Congressman John Kasich, 10 percentage points, 49-39 in a statewide poll, according to Real Clear Politics.  Strickland bumped up slightly in poll averages in mid-June, but otherwise has trailed Kasich.

But despite this, Tuesday, when he and his Republican opponent square off in their first televised debate, there are no watch parties planned in the county, according to the Organizing for America Web site, my.barackobama.com. Parties are planned in all adjacent counties: the Republican strongholds of Butler, Clermont and Warren. Hamilton County would be considered a critical county for Strickland if he were to win re-election.

Then-candidate Sen. Barack Obama‘s online juggernaut, combining social media with savvy Web marketing, appears to be underutilized in this area. Praised by politicos from all parties, the site and its accompanying iPhone, iPad and plethora of social networking-connected sites can be used to help organize campaign workers and inform voters in ways that were not previously seen in any campaign. The site  and its millions of registered users transitioned from Obama’s campaign Web site  to Organizing for America, designed to keep enthusiasm and momentum going after Obama’s winning the presidency.

Republican supporters do not appear to have scheduled any debate watch parties in this area.

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for About.com's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, iRhine.com. He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

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