October 23, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
44°F

Dem chief targets no-show voters

More than 77,000 Ohio Democrats voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but failed to show up at the polls in 2010 when Gov. Ted Strickland lost his seat to Republican Gov. John Kasich.

More than 2,993 of those absent voters live in Medina County and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern wants to make sure they get to the polls in November.

“If we can get those voters to turn out, we can win,” he said.

Redfern made his pitch to Democratic faithful gathered at a “blue cocktail” fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings, 5050 Eastpointe Drive, Medina Township.

Redfern said the party has the names and addresses of Democratic voters who didn’t vote in 2010. Holding a piece of paper in his hand, Redfern cited the voting record of a 71-year-old Medina Township woman.

“She has voted in every general election going back as far as we have records,” he said. “But she skipped 2010.”

Redfern said the woman was a likely Strickland supporter, based on her answers to a phone survey during the 2012 presidential campaign.

“Based on her response to a question during a phone call, she was listed as an Obama supporter,” he said.

Redfern said it would take Democrats in every Ohio county knocking on doors to remind Democratic supporters that the statewide races are important.

“Our job is to make sure those who may vote, do vote,” he said.

Medina County Democratic Chairman John Welker said he is coordinating with other county Democratic leaders to organize canvassing and phone banks this fall to get out the vote.

“It’s going to be a boots-on-the-ground approach,” he said. “We’ll be making inroads and expanding our visibility.”

On the horizon in 2016, Redfern said he thinks there will be a lot of interest in the state as both the GOP and Democratic leaders eye Ohio cities for their national conventions.

Cleveland is the only city still in contention for both conventions.

Cleveland and Dallas are the two finalists for the Republican National Convention and Cleveland and Columbus are among six cities still being considered for the Democratic National Convention.

“If I had to bet, I would say the Republicans go to Cleveland and the Democrats go to Columbus,” Redfern said. “Ohio picks the presidents. It really is the most important state in the nation.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.