Cincinnati Enquirer: In Ohio, Democratic U.S. Senator Sen. Sherrod Brown May Ride Trump Country To Re-Election

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Cincinnati Enquirer: In Ohio, Democratic U.S. Senator Sen. Sherrod Brown May Ride Trump Country To Re-Election

The Cincinnati Enquirer spoke with voters in Scioto County about the economy, trade, and the upcoming U.S. Senate election. “In 2016 Ohio’s rural areas, like Scioto County, helped deliver Ohio – and the presidency – to Trump,” wrote the Enquirer. “But this year Republicans can’t count on these same counties to deliver them Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat.”

Voters in Scioto County praised Senator Sherrod Brown’s work on fighting unfair Chinese trade practices and his steadfast support of all Ohio workers. A construction worker from West Portsmouth said, “Brown was really good to us. I think he’s for the working class.”

As the Enquirer put it, “Trump country, it turns out, is also Brown country.”

Cincinnati Enquirer: In Ohio, Democratic U.S. Senator Sen. Sherrod Brown may ride Trump country to re-election

Scott Wartman – July 2, 2018

Key Points:

  • If you want to know this area’s politics – and what it may foretell about this state’s U.S. Senate race – David Liddle is a good indicator.

  • Liddle, 68, voted for President Trump. And he plans on voting for Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown this year.

  • In 2016 Ohio’s rural areas, like Scioto County, helped deliver Ohio – and the presidency – to Trump. But this year Republicans can’t count on these same counties to deliver them Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat, according to Enquirer interviews with voters and experts.

  • Trump country, it turns out, is also Brown country.

  • Tariffs are popular here.

  • Another fan of tariffs? Brown. He’s praised Trump’s tariffs on steel, blaming “Chinese cheating” for shuttered Ohio steel plants. Portsmouth lost a lot of its shoe business to global trade in the 20th Century.

  • Brown seems pretty safe in these swing counties, agreed Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University Polling Institute in New Jersey.

  • Brown will likely continue to do well in these areas with his casual style and brand of populism, Murray said. “They have to feel you have their back,” Murray said of Scioto Countians. “You look at Scioto County, that part of the state feels forgotten.”

  • It’s been a difficult 50 years for Portsmouth, as it has for much of Appalachia, plagued with a steady exodus of residents. Once a boomtown with steel plants and shoe factories, Portsmouth’s population has declined from a peak of 42,000 in 1930 to 20,000 today, according to the U.S. Census.

  • These closures weigh heavily on the minds of those who still live in Scioto County, especially when they go to the ballot box.

  • “We have to bring jobs back to America,” said Doug Besco, 70,  sitting outside an antique store in Portsmouth.

  • He supports Brown even though he tends to vote Republican.

  • At Patties & Pints restaurant, Missy and Andy Sparks ate lunch last week and reminisced about the shoe factory, the steel plant, even a now-closed roller rink.

  • They still don’t know what to make of Trump. But they do like Brown. Renacci? Never heard of him. “I’m for whoever supports unions,” Andy Sparks said. “Brown was really good to us. I think he’s for the working class.”

Read the full story here.