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Government and Politics

Ohio takes itself seriously, and so does just about everyone else
Ari Fleischer draws parallels with 2004
This story is part of a special series.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Ari Fleischer says the level of voter participation in Ohio may equal that of 2004.
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:

Republicans continue to pour attention onto Ohio during the presidential convention. No speaker fails to talk about how important the state is to Mitt Romney’s hopes, and they usually mention Josh Mandel as key to a Republican takeover of the Senate as well. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more from Tampa.

SCHULTZE Parallels with 2004?

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The speakers at the Ohio delegation breakfast are from the A-list:  Mitt Romney’s middle son on Monday, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum today and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday.  Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary for President George W. Bush and shared breakfast spotlight with Josh Romney Monday, says Ohio is taking itself seriously, and it’s reminiscent of another key election year.

 “What’s fascinating about Ohio in 2004 is how voter participation surged in both parties. Democrats had a huge turnout of their voters. Republicans had a huge turnout of their voters plus a few more. And independents of course turned out in very big numbers. I thought it was a real healthy sign that people in Ohio know the crucial swing state role that they play, and they play it heavily.”

Fleischer expects to see that duplicated this year.

Ohio’s U.S. Senator Rob Portman says he expects southeast Ohio to be especially kind to Romney, and the Ohio delegation got a lesson from Newt Gingrich on how to play up oil and gas drilling in part to help woo the region.

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