Ohio has only twice swung in favor of a losing candidate during a presidential election – in 1944 and 1960. Otherwise, as Ohio goes so goes America.
According to The State of the Nation, a 50-state survey, Ohio voters are concerned about racism, the economy and healthcare.
President Donald Trump has been grilled for his stance on race – while Biden has evaded the scrutiny.
Biden’s campaign has sought to add context to 1977 comments the then-senator made during a congressional hearing on anti-busing legislation, related to the critical topic of de-segregation.
“Unless we do something about this, my children are going to grow up in a jungle, the jungle being a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point,” Biden said.
Seventeen years later, Biden drafted the foundation of the 1994 crime bill – the biggest crime bill in U.S. history, written in an attempt by Democrats to wrest from Republicans the reputation as the party tough on crime, according to the ACLU.
The bill was tough on crime but ended up interacting with earlier legislation on drugs that resulted in locking up more people, for longer, over a 16 year period – a disproportionate number of them blacks.
In early August, Biden said, “Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.” This, during an interview with NPR’s Lourdes “Lulu” Garcia-Navarro.
NEW: Biden draws distinction between diversity within Black and Latino communities, telling @NPR’s @lourdesgnavarro that “unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes.." pic.twitter.com/ZbWmVZTFFL
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) August 6, 2020
Earlier in the year on the Breakfast Club, the presidential hopeful said to Lenard Larry McKelvey, also known as Charlamagne tha God, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”
Perhaps the words and phrases are gaffes – like during a speech sponsored by the Asian and Latino coalition when Biden said “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
Or again during a Hispanic heritage event in Florida, stepping to the podium playing Despacito from his smartphone.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 16, 2020
Whatever the intent, UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal commented on the incident:
“Let me just tell you something, the Democrats just think that they are entitled to the Latino vote. They think that we just have to hand it over to them. They have to show us what they can do for us, what they can do for our communities,” he said. “We’re not going to buy the same wolf tickets and false promises that destroyed great countries like Venezuela and Cuba. You know what else is not gonna work for them? Playing Despacito on your cellphone to pander to us.”
Masvidal went on to compare Trump’s performance before COVID to winning Super Bowls and Biden’s track record of 47 years in politics like a coach going 0-47.
Biden’s eight years alongside, President Barack Obama was polled at the end of their White House tenure in a 2016 Rasmussen report – 60% of Americans believe that race relations got worse in America under Obama and Biden.
The Economy and Income Equality
Prior to COVID, rates of unemployment for African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans had been descending over years and three groups of Americans hit record lows in unemployment under Trump.
Despite a spike in unemployment since COVID, Trump’s unemployment number are still lower than the first four years of Obama’s administration, wages are at their highest point ever – along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to which pensions, 401(K)s and retirement payments are tied.
The Trump economy took a 31.4% dive but more than rebounded in the third quarter, showing a 31.4% spike according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Health Care COVID
Restrictions have already resulted in massive financial damages to health care providers. The Cleveland Clinic, Ohio’s largest employer, has been impacted financially due to an increase in costs for COVID preparedness, bans on non-essential procedures that drove down revenue, and increasing supply costs. In total, the impact was over $1 billion – and that was in July.
Although the US is reporting a surge in cases, deaths in America are 300% lower than the high point in April.
Trump is a proponent of progressively opening the economy, while Joe Biden has declared the “dark winter” ahead and his pro mandate positions.
In Ohio, a 300% increase in COVID cases over the past month have not troubled hospital total capacity, as Hospitalization utilization (the number of total patients in Ohio hospitals) continues to drop – with the exception being ventilator usage which has plateaued.
Inpatient Bed Utilization:
10/15: 71% (4% COVID)
10/28: 67% (5/6% COVID)
11/02: 61.46% (6.78% COVID)
ICU Bed Utilization:
10/15: 66% (5.8% COVID)
10/28: 63% (9% COVID)
11/02: 59.59% (10.31% COVID)
10/15: 25.54% (2.5% COVID)
10/28: 25.35% (4.2% COVID)
11/02: 25.83% (4.94% COVID
However, even the hospitalization numbers are in question – as CDC Director Robert Redfield suggests there may be “play” in hospital numbers since the hospitals are at liberty to follow CDC guidelines (meaning that someone in ER/ICU or on a vent, who is not primarily a COVID patient, may be counted as such for reimbursement purposes if there can be some sort of test, or epidemiological link to the virus).
Nonetheless, the virus is real but unlike the COVID surge February – March that produced April death numbers that are still the highest in the state’s battle with the virus, this latest surge has not translated to a surge in deaths.
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Jack Windsor is Managing Editor at both The Ohio Star and The Michigan Star. Windsor is also an Investigative Reporter at WMFD-TV and The Virginia Star. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ohio Votes” by Tim Evanson CC BY-SA 2.0.