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Anecdotal Evidence, August 9: A peculiar Obama visit

Lars Gesing, CU News Corps Assistant Director

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Logo final_highIn our Anecdotal Evidence column, movers and shakers share personal stories of how intriguing (and often odd) presidential campaigning in their respective swing state can be.

Season’s greetings from Ohio, the heart of the presidential campaign

Herb Asher. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Herb Asher. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Herb Asher – Political Scientist, The Ohio State University

“I am writing a holiday newsletter instead of Christmas cards. In 2012, I labelled it, ‘Greetings from Ohio, the heart of the presidential campaign.’ Obama declared for re-election on campus. He has been on campus a total of seven times. The most amazing event that happened: We knew the president was going to Capital University. During the presidential campaign, we get a call that the president was going to make a surprise visit to our campus. I had never heard of such a thing. The White House Advance and Secret Service hate each other. This is the kind of thing they just never do.

“We had to keep it secret. We only had a day’s notice anyways. There was no preparation we had to do. So I go over to the Student Union, and sure enough, the motorcade pulls up and the president walks into the Student Union. Everybody starts texting and calling. There is a diner in the Union, called Sloopy’s. The president sits down in a booth with three other students. He stayed for about half an hour, and then he left. Talk about bringing a campaign not just to Ohio, not just to Columbus, but to the campus.”

***

Why is southeast Ohio no longer voting for Democrats? Some say it’s a racial thing

Paul Sracic. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Paul Sracic. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Paul Sracic – Political Scientist, Youngstown State University

“Before the last election a reporter from Pittsburgh asked where he should go to get some good quotes from Ohioans. I told him to stand outside a church in southern Ohio. He called me the next morning and said those were some of the best comments he had ever gotten. People were coming out saying, ‘I just wish there was a Christian we could vote for in this election.’

“They didn’t consider Romney a Christian because he is a Mormon and they thought Obama was a Muslim.It is a very religious area, socially conservative. They really turned on the Democratic Party. Coal mining is a big industry down there. Obama isn’t helping with his regulations. Some people think it’s racial. We’ll learn more about that in 2016. If it stays red, and Hillary Clinton is the candidate – then it is not just racial.”

***

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Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students
Anecdotal Evidence, August 9: A peculiar Obama visit