Stellar duo target Ohio’s working class for Obama

continued from page 1

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Each candidate has struggled to connect with white, working-class voters, in Ohio and elsewhere.

Nationally, Romney holds a strong edge among white voters with jobs and no college degree. But his advantage is narrower in union-heavy Ohio. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed Romney ahead 51 percent to 44 percent among likely noncollege, white voters.

Those heavily-courted voters backed Republicans in the past two elections.

In 2004 in Ohio, 55 percent of white voters without a college education voted for Republican George W. Bush and 44 percent voted for Democrat John Kerry. Four years ago, they voted for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over Obama 54 percent to 44 percent.

This time around, Obama’s team sees opportunities to increase its levels of support.

The campaign has blanketed the state with television advertisements portraying Romney as a corporate raider who moved manufacturing jobs overseas. The state’s 7.2 percent unemployment rate is more than a half-point lower than the national average. And the auto bailout is credited with saving thousands of jobs in the state.

“I’m thankful GM is still making cars,” said Springsteen, whose songs often reflect the stories and values of the people who work in places like auto factories. “What else would I write about?”

Clinton stayed in Ohio on Thursday for another campaign rally, while Springsteen headed to Ames, Iowa, for a second appearance on Obama’s behalf.

In addition to that stellar duo, Obama is relying on Vice President Joe Biden to rally support among white working-class voters. Biden, raised in a middle-class family from Scranton, Pa., has been a frequent visitor to Ohio. He’s scheduled to make a three-day swing through the state next week.

Romney has also relied on his running mate for help in Ohio. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin native, has put his Midwestern sensibilities to use, dropping by college football tailgates and a Cleveland Browns practice. Ryan is due back in Ohio on Saturday.

Springsteen, an avid supporter of Obama in 2008, had planned to sit out this election. He never explained exactly what changed his mind in the campaign’s closing weeks, saying only that he believes Obama understands the struggles of “everyday citizens.”

The rocker kept his comments brief during a six-song set, which included “Youngstown”, a song about the economic woes of the Ohio city. Seeking to hew a bit more closely to Obama’s re-election message of shared prosperity, he also played a newer song that has become a staple at the president’s campaign rallies.

“Wherever this flag is flown,” Springsteen sang. “We take care of our own.”

___

Associated Press writer John Seewer in Parma and AP Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta in Washington contributed to this report.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks