No enthusiasm for Obama in Ohio
...With the coal mines giving out and the steel business decimated — about 1,500 people work in the few surviving mills, compared with 30,000 at the peak — the medical industry is by far the largest employer in Jefferson County. Young people here tend to escape if they can, leaving the frail and aging behind.
To Rogers, it doesn't matter who wins the White House in November. He's a Democrat and supports President Obama but doubts much would change in a second term.
"We elect this guy and all they do is bicker," said Rogers, still big and burly from his days manning a blast furnace. "Nobody will do this, nobody will do that, it's all partisan [bull] and what did we do? We lost four years."
That utter lack of enthusiasm, shot through with anger and cynicism, is shared by many in rural Ohio, a target state for both sides in November. Timothy Bower, 30, runs Mama G's pizza place, a few miles up the river in Toronto. Rolling and slicing a mound of dough, he described Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, as a "typical empty suit. I don't believe a word he says."
Still, Romney has this going for him: He's not Obama. The president frightens Bower with his expansive healthcare overhaul, his rhetorical shots at the rich and the red ink that has gushed over the last three years. More frightening still, Bowers said, is the prospect of Obama spared future elections and thus free to push even more radical policies.
So "unless a story comes up, something crazy [Romney's] done in the past," the libertarian-leaning Republican said resignedly, "I'm going to have to vote" for Romney....Romney's considerable wealth came up repeatedly, even among Republicans like George Wilson, 76, a retired Marine sergeant, who plans to vote for the former Massachusetts governor simply to be rid of Obama. (Wilson said he would vote for Mickey Mouse over the Democratic incumbent.)...I think Romney has a better shot at these voters than Obama. They already know Obama is not going to change their lot. Romney can put together a winning message for these displaced workers and under employed, but letting them know his energy policy will create new jobs in Ohio and elsewhere as we exploit shale oil and gas.