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Final Preps For Republican Convention, And Why Ohio Will Likely Be A Bellwether Again This Presidential Year

After years of planning and months of anticipation, speculation and preparation, The Republican National Convention is underway in Cleveland this week with early business being taken care of in the platform committee and the rules committee.

Voters on both sides have expressed dissatisfaction, distrust and even disgust with both of the presumptive major party nominees. And in this unconventional, anti-establishment year, voters might be in the mood for something else. An American history teacher from Westerville says he could be that option. Ben Hartnell is running as the only official write in candidate on the Ohio ballot so far. He says the campaign started out in 2012 as a way to sell some t-shirts for a local charity, and turned it into an experiment for 2016. Now that he’s made the Ohio ballot, he’s looking ahead to other states.

As the Republican National Convention gets underway in Cleveland next week, everyone’s watching Ohio – and likely will be through the first week of November, because the stats show how Ohio goes is how the nation does. That’s the basis of a new book called "The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President”, and it’s written by an Ohioan who backs up his argument with facts and numbers explaining the reasons why Ohio is the state that has voted for the winner in 28 of the last 30 elections, and why it’s said over and over that no Republican has won the White House without Ohio, and no Democrat has won without it in more than half a century. The book's author is Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball from the University of Virginia Center for Politics.  Some of the data he uses in the book comes from Mike Dawson, who was press secretary and communications director for Gov. and Sen. George Voinovich – he’s now the genius behind ohioelectionresults.com, which features a trove of state-specific election data going back more than 150 years.