Ohioans' votes may well be the deciding ballots in this year's presidential election. Of all the "swing states" Ohio probably is the most important, analysts agree.
Buckeye State residents have every reason to vote for Mitt Romney for president. The past three and one-half years under President Barack Obama have been tough ones for Ohio.
Belmont and Jefferson County voters have clear evidence of that. Since June, the unemployment rates in those counties have been increasing -from 6.9 percent to 7.6 percent in Belmont County and from 10.4 percent to a whopping 10.6 percent in Jefferson County.
Fewer Ohioans have jobs than when Obama took office. More state residents live in poverty. Those fortunate enough to have jobs are earning less.
Romney has a detailed plan to put Ohioans and other Americans back to work at good jobs. Though his program includes a 59-point strategy, it has been distilled to five points during recent weeks:
- Achieve energy independence, with emphasis on North American oil, natural gas and coal.
- Improve education and job training.
- Curb unfair trade practices such as those that have devastated the U.S. steel industry.
- Reduce the government spending deficit and tackle the national debt.
- Cut taxes and regulations to champion small businesses.
It is a formula almost tailor-made for Ohio's needs. They are many, after nearly four years of Obama's failures:
- Ohio's unemployment rate is 7 percent, but at least some of the drop is because many Buckeye State residents have simply given up trying to find work. In fact, 70,680 fewer Ohioans have jobs than when Obama became president.
- Though Obama claims he is making progress, September figures show 25,516 fewer Ohioans working than in April.
- Ohio's poverty rate has increased to 15.1 percent, from 13.5 percent when Obama took office.
- The median income in Ohio has fallen by $3,459 since Obama entered the White House.
Are those numbers reliable? They should be: They come from the very federal agencies Obama oversees.
Romney's plan can help. Obama's big government strategy, despite his claims, has failed. If Ohioans really want to move forward, they will vote for Mitt Romney on Nov. 6.