What Hillary Clinton’s Ohio Win Can Tell Us About November
After Hillary Clinton’s narrow loss in Michigan, the stories began right on cue.
The media eagerly concluded that Democrats were taking a second look. The narrative needed to be rewritten. Bernie Sanders’ reflexive opposition to every trade agreement in history was the only way to win over working class Democrats in the Rust Belt.
And then came Ohio, where Clinton won in a landslide.
Ohioans took a hard look at Senator Sanders’ claims, and rejected them. Despite his attempt to portray Hillary as an ardent free-trader, Hillary voted against the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the only multi-national trade agreement that ever came before her in the U.S. Senate. And after waiting to see what the details actually were in the final deal, she determined that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) failed to meet her tough standard.
She told the true story of her record on trade, a record that hasn’t been heard. She talked about how she stood up to China when they tried to impose unfair tariffs on manufacturers in upstate New York. She spoke with a steelworker facing layoffs, and union workers facing outsourcing at a Nabisco plant. She promised to crack down on countries like China when they cheat the rules, or countries that manipulate their currency to disadvantage American workers and exports. And in Youngstown, she called for for making sure our trade agreements don’t disadvantage American automakers by giving preferences to cars made with lots of Chinese steel.
But it turns out that Democrats in states hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs are looking for more than anger and accusations, and stopping abuse by foreign countries. They’re looking for real plans and a broad economic agenda.
That’s why they turned to Hillary in huge numbers last Tuesday.
Ohio voters remembered that in the Senate, Hillary stood with workers in cities like Rochester and Albany. They watched her vote to rescue the auto industry when it was on the brink of collapse. They saw her stand toe-to-toe with competitors like China on the global stage. And they understood that she’s not just railing about the past — she’s looking for ways to build a stronger future for workers and families. That’s why she stood with Senator Sherrod Brown in Youngstown, the site of the nation’s first advanced manufacturing institute, and talked about her vision for American manufacturing.
Hillary’s detailed vision to revitalize our nation’s manufacturing sector and “Make it in America” again clearly resonated with Ohioans. Exit polls showed that among voters who cited the economy as their most important issue, she beat Senator Sanders by a decisive 20 points. Moreover, among voters who believe trade with other countries hurts U.S. jobs (a minority view among all Ohio voters), Hillary won by a 9-point margin. She also won 55 percent of voters from union households.
Now, since his defeat in all five contests last Tuesday, including other Midwestern states like Illinois and Missouri, Senator Sanders is changing his tune. He’s now arguing that his campaign can attract the Republican and independent support that will be necessary to defeat a candidate like Donald Trump in the general election.
But the numbers simply don’t add up there, either.
Simply put, Hillary has won more votes than any other candidate in this race on either side of the aisle, including 2.5 million more votes than Senator Sanders. Nearly 1.3 million more people have voted for Hillary than for Donald Trump. Far from beating Trump, Senator Sanders is trailing him by more than a million votes.
And in every state that voted last Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly said it was Hillary, not Senator Sanders, who would be able to take on Trump and win in November — 58 percent of voters in Missouri, 65 percent in Illinois, and 66 percent in Ohio.
What’s more, it’s clear that Rust Belt voters of both parties have a broader view of what it takes for America to compete and win around the world than Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump would like us to believe. A full two-thirds of Ohio Republican voters rejected Donald Trump. And among those who stated the economy and jobs were their number one issue, John Kasich defeated Donald Trump 52–33.
We did learn an important lesson from Michigan, though. We learned that the more voters learn about Hillary’s concrete plans to make sure the good jobs and rising wages of the future happen here, the more excited they become about our campaign. And we look forward to taking this message to every corner of the country in the primaries and caucuses ahead.
In the days ahead, Hillary will continue to stand up for creating good paying jobs here in the United States and breaking down all the barriers holding Americans back. That includes supporting companies that export American goods and services.
Today, U.S. exports total more than $2 trillion dollars — and export companies tend to pay their workers higher than average wages. Hillary will support the efforts of businesses large and small to tap new markets — both at home and internationally — to create good paying jobs and spur economic growth.
That includes supporting the Export-Import Bank. Unfortunately, Senator Sanders continues to put politics above common sense in opposing this critical institution, and we’re confident the voters will make that case to him as well.
There’s one thing that the pundits do have right: it’s the votes of working people in America that will determine who becomes our next president.
Based on Tuesday’s results, Hillary Clinton is their clear choice.