Analysis, National

As Trump Comes to Cleveland, Ohioans See Stark Choice on Display: Dangerous Division vs. Stronger Together

OHIO–(ENEWSPF)–July 17, 2016

By: Chris Wyant, Hillary for Ohio State Director, Hillary for America

Two years ago, Republicans were envisioning a united GOP convention in Cleveland that would help them win a critical presidential battleground. But that dream never came to fruition. This week, the choice facing Ohio voters in November will crystallize as Donald Trump — and his divisive rhetoric, dangerous ideas, and record of selling out American workers to profit personally — descends on Ohio.

Already, Ohio Republicans are fleeing Trump’s candidacy following more than a year of words and deeds that prove he is temperamentally unfit to serve as president.  Elected and Republican Party officials are using phrases like “condescending and simplistic,” “very deep reservations,”  “embarrasses me,” “the opposite of how my husband and I are trying to raise our children,” “total disaster,” “hasn’t impressed me at all,” “a very dangerous president,” and “not fit to hold office anywhere in this country” to describe the man set to formally accept their party’s nomination in Cleveland.

Ohio Republicans, just like Americans across the country, are looking at Trump and deciding that we are better than this.

The negative reviews of the GOP’s nominee are far from outliers, and Ohio Republican operatives and consultants have been similarly blunt in assessing how Trump has squandered his first months as the presumptive nominee. Local Republican activists have been dismayed by the lack of a Trump organization, many Ohio operatives have refused to work for him, and even now Trump is relying completely on the state Republican Party’s field efforts. This same group helped defeat him in the primary and has 75% fewer staff than expected. As put it: “Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The GOP has ground game issues in Ohio.”

While Trump is creating disunity and exasperation with Republicans here, Ohioans are uniting behind Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, driven by the shared belief that we are stronger together. More than 2,000 individuals from more than 300 towns, cities and municipalities across Ohio have shared their own personal stories for supporting Hillary Clinton with us – many are now engaging their friends and neighbors online.

Public polling will show a tight race in Ohio every day up to November 8, so we are taking nothing for granted. For months, we have been working to build the kind of grassroots organization that helps Democrats up and down the ballot win close elections in Ohio and across the country. Earlier this month, organizers registered voters at 28 different Fourth of July parades.  By the end of this week, the Ohio campaign will have a dozen offices open in communities around the state – with dozens more on the way.

Engaging voters where they are and using the latest and most prevalent tactics is critical to any candidate’s path to victory in Ohio every four years. Grassroots organizers and volunteers for Hillary for Ohio are employing every digital tool at their disposal — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, text messages, Snapchat, and even Pokémon GO to reach new volunteers and unregistered voters.

Equally important to the number of voter contacts is the quality of those contacts. Collectively, local organizers in Ohio have completed 4,441 hours – or more than six months worth – of training. It is a reflection of both the breadth of our organization here, as well as the seriousness with which we view the work they are doing.

Hillary Clinton has been back to Ohio four times since the state’s primary, engaging Ohioans in a conversation about how we raise wages, create more jobs, make the economy work for everyone not just those at the top — and end division so we can be united and strong.  In a visit to Athens, she focused on the aspirations and needs of families in often overlooked or underserved communities. In Cleveland in June, she discussed the horrific shooting in Orlando and the need for our nation to unite in resolve to end violence and defend against terrorism. And in Columbus, she laid out — using Trump’s own words — how the self-described ‘King of Debt’ would endanger the American economy as president. And on Monday, she will campaign alongside campaign volunteers in Cincinnati and address the NAACP’s annual conference there, while Trump will be the only presidential candidate of either party in the past 20 years not to attend.

While Donald Trump’s offensive and divisive words are streaming from Republican National Convention into Ohio homes, we will be using every day of this week to expand our campaign in Ohio and talk to voters about Hillary Clinton’s belief that we are stronger together because know at stake in just 114 days is the future of our country and we can’t afford to waste a single minute.