Romney’s path to victory almost certainly runs through Ohio, and the key swing region of the Buckeye State is the coal-producing Southeast. It was from the Southeast that Democrat Ted Strickland emerged from Congress in 2006 to take the Governor’s Mansion, and it was the Southeast that gave Clinton his wins in the state. A large coal rally and the commentary around it show that these Reagan-Clinton Democrats are swinging hard for Mitt Romney:
Seventy-plus men walked out of the ground, overalls and hardhats covered in coal dust, and onto the risers of a stage built for a Mitt Romney speech.
To onlookers, mostly press and staffers, the image was stunning.
To the 2,600 family members gathered in the gravel parking lot or under tents, eating hot dogs and drinking pop, it was a moment of immense pride.
This is what we do, said Tim Wiles: “We make things. We provide energy for the state, food for our families, and businesses are sustained around the county because they make money from us.”
The 54-year-old miner added, after listening to Romney: “This election is his and Paul Ryan’s for the taking. They need to be bold and remind people of what we stand for, that we are the backbone of this country.”
If Romney/Ryan carry the coal-producing part of the state, now trending Republican as their industry falls under attack by Obama’s EPA and Department of Energy, and do it in convincing fashion as Johnson did as well as 2010 Republicans running statewide, no margin of votes in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland area) will save the Obama machine. Coal powers Ohio’s economy, and may power a Romney win.