MEDINA — President Barack Obama won Ohio, but he lost Medina County — even worse than last time.
In Tuesday’s election, only 42.5 percent of county voters favored Obama, compared with 55.6 percent who voted for Mitt Romney.
Obama’s support in Medina County dropped significantly since 2008, when he garnered 45.2 percent of the vote.
John Welker, head of the Medina County Democratic Party, blamed the loss of support for the president on the negative campaigns mounted by both parties.
“It’s probably a result of the basic contentiousness of the campaigns,” he said.
Welker also said he believed misinformation about what Republicans call “ObamaCare” partially explains why the president lost ground.
Welker said he was surprised by Tuesday’s results. He expected Obama to do at least as well as in 2008.
He never expected Obama to win Medina County.
“Let’s face it,” Welker said, “Medina is a Republican-leaning county.”
While the Democratic presidential candidate did worse this year, the GOP’s nominee did better than in the last presidential election.
Kevin Dunn, the Medina County Republican Party chair, said he thought Romney got more votes because he was more appealing than the GOP’s 2008 choice, John McCain, who got 53.3 percent of the vote.
“I think there was a lot more Republican excitement for Mitt Romney than for John McCain,” he said. “At first, people weren’t really sure how to take (Romney), but everybody started getting excited about this fellow after he opened up.”
Although Dunn was disappointed by Obama’s re-election, he said Tuesday’s election showed the continued strength of the GOP in the county.
All five Republican incumbents in county offices who faced opposition Tuesday won re-election by wide margins.
Dunn said county Republicans worked hard to find undecided voters and convince them to vote Republican.
Dunn said he was optimistic Ohio would vote Republican in 2016.
“We have to deal with Obama another four years,” he said. “But we’ll do all we can to be an effective voice of opposition.”
Both Dunn and Welker praised their parties’ grassroots campaigns aimed at getting out the vote.
Despite that effort, about 1,500 fewer Medina County voters cast ballots this year, compared with 2008.
Some of those who did vote shunned both major party candidates.
Nearly 1,700 voters chose third-party or independent candidates — 26 percent more than in 2008.
Contact Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.