COLUMBUS (WCMH)–David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, says Ohio remains a swing state in presidential elections because it is a microcosm of national political sentiment.
“We reflect the national disagreements I guess,” Pepper said. “We also have enough electoral votes that if you win here, you’re getting a nice tranche of electoral votes that could be the difference.”
The presidential candidates have made 28 visits to Ohio this year since the conventions. That’s fewer than the 2012 election when Ohio was perceived as possibly the deciding state. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are scheduled to be back in Ohio Friday.
No republican has ever won the presidential race without winning Ohio and experts say that will likely remain true again this year.
Republican consultant Terry Casey says Trump needs to win Ohio to have a chance of winning the race. He says Clinton can still win without Ohio.
“Hillary does have a path to the presidency without Ohio but she also recognizes if she can block Trump in Ohio, then she’s got a better chance of becoming president if some other states do not come together,” Casey said.
With just days now before Election Day, the campaigns are heavily focused on simply getting out the vote.
“That’s why a lot of the visits you’re seeing are essentially people going to their own party members and saying make sure you show us and vote, make sure you vote early because whoever wins that organizational turnout battle probably wins the state,” Pepper said.
Elections officials believe as many as forty percent of Franklin county voters will vote early. It is the most heavily trafficked early voting location in the state.
“Franklin County is putting up huge numbers of four to five thousand a day, yesterday was 5,200,” Pepper said.
All the attention from the candidates gives Ohio voters more exposure to the issues, to the candidates and to the commercials.
Sarah Stojanovic voted early on Thursday and says she’s not sure she likes all the attention.
“I think it’s unfortunate that so much focus is put on these swing states,” Stojanovic said. “I think it makes it hard for people to feel like their vote does matter in other states.”