Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 6:00 PM
The watch party for We Are Ohio, the group opposing Issue 2, erupted into a dance party by the end of election night.
Ohioans sent some mixed messages this Election Day.
They voted against the federal health care overhaul and turned down many school levies, but they also showed overwhelming support for public employee unions.
This kind of voting isn’t unique in Ohio.
[audio href="http://audio2.ideastream.org/wcpn/2011/11/1109StatusQuo.mp3" title="Ohioans stick with the status quo."]It's not unusual for Ohioans to cast contradicting votes on the same ballot. That's part of what makes us a swing state.[/audio]
There’s a reason Ohio is a significant swing state. No president has gotten to the White House in the last 50 years without winning Ohio, and no Republican has ever made it without Ohio’s support.
University of Akron political science professor John Green says this year’s general election was a good example of why Ohio remains a bellwether for the presidency.
[related_content align="right"]“Many voters voted against Issue 2 but for Issue 3, and apparently many voters also against Issue 2 and against local school levies, particularly new levies. So I think the public was pretty discriminating in their vote,” he says.
It’s that discriminating vote that presidential hopefuls need to win over.
But despite some contradictory votes, Green says voters showed a core consistency: maintaining the status quo, and "a real reluctance to see a lot of dramatic changes in a time of high unemployment and other economic problems. “
Green says this election brought together Ohio’s unions, making them a force presidential candidates will have to deal with over the coming months.