Economy A Critical Issue For Ohio Voters
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Now here's a bit of the scene last night from Democratic headquarters in the state of Ohio from NPR's David Greene.
DAVID GREENE: When Governor Ted Strickland came onstage to celebrate Obama's victory, he had this to say.
(SOUNDBITE OF CELEBRATION AT DEMOCRATIC HEADQUARTERS, OHIO)
MONTAGNE: Ohio is a welcoming state. America is an inclusive country.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
GREENE: Remember back in March? That's when Obama lost the Ohio primary, and the pundits wondered whether white, working-class voters here would go for an African-American candidate. Jill Mercer(ph) is an attorney who grew up in the Appalachian region of Ohio. She said she had her doubts about how Obama would do.
MONTAGNE: That's something that kind of concerned me, was the racism issue. And I mean, even, you know, talking to friends and family down there and kind of what the attitude was, I mean, there certainly was that buzz going around.
GREENE: Maybe there's racism left in pockets of Ohio. Jill said enough voters just put other issues first.
MONTAGNE: You know, they're getting foreclosed on, they're losing jobs and everything else. And people just wanted something different.
GREENE: Jill was celebrating in the hotel ballroom here. Just steps away was a woman named Judy Reed(ph) who works for Ohio's state government. Judy was soaking up the symbolism.
MONTAGNE: This man represents us, you know. He represents us as a people. He's - a white mom, a black father. That's a beautiful thing. It's us. It's you and me, you know what I mean? So it feels good. It's beautiful. Don't you think?
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
GREENE: David Greene, NPR News, Columbus.
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