Blacks and young voters fail to turn out for Clinton in swing state of Ohio

Clinton failed to get the numbers she needed in big cities to counter Trump’s influence in southern Ohio

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 November, 2016, 11:20pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 November, 2016, 11:54pm

Democrats were never on safe ground in the toss-up state of Ohio. And they knew why long before the votes were tallied.

Donald Trump took Ohio’s 18 electoral votes, winning 454,983 more votes than Hillary Clinton. Earlier polls suggested that Trump had a 1 per cent lead in Ohio.

US President Barack Obama won Ohio four years ago by 3 percentage points.

Towards the end of the campaigning, two of Clinton’s most important rallies took place in the state. On Friday, she was joined by Beyonce and Jay Z for a concert-rally in Cleveland and managed to steal ­national headlines for a few hours.

Two days later, basketball star LeBron James was standing by her side at another rally, again in Cleveland. Both events sought to tap two sources of support she was counting on in Ohio: African Americans and young voters.

The failure of these two groups to show up at polling stations on election day proved fatal for the Clinton campaign in a state where the northeastern part, including Cleveland, was considered to be leaning Democratic.

That advantage would be lost if her supporters did not show up in large enough numbers to counter the Republican support, mostly by working-class whites, concentrated in Ohio’s south.

“The Democratic Party took minority votes for granted,” said Rob Frost, a Republican Party county chairman in Ohio.

Ohio used to be one of the country’s most important industrial hubs, but in the face of globalisation, factories started closing down in the 1980s and joblessness spiked.

The majority of its population are working and middle-class Americans who are anxious about the economy, which critics believe has played to Trump’s strengths.

“Trump’s ‘bring back jobs’ rhetoric could resonate with some of the voters here,” said Ethan Karp, president of the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network.