Democrats have to be wondering what is the matter with the voters in Ohio.
The critical swing state that went for George W. Bush twice before voting in Barack Obama for two terms is maintaining its swing reputation by holding steady for Republican nominee Donald Trump.
The billionaire businessman has held a stable lead over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton since the beginning of September, the enthusiasm for the outside-the-box Republican has played out in a flurry of yard signs dotting traditional Democratic strongholds and he has drawn enormous crowds at every event he schedules in the Buckeye State.
Clinton out-staffs, out-spends and out-maneuvers Trump with every traditional machine politics playbook available – yet she still consistently lags behind him.
The latest RealClearPolitics average of Ohio state polls show Trump with a 2.4 percent lead, with the most recent Quinnipiac poll showing him up 5 percentage points.
In response Clinton sent her husband, former President Bill Clinton, into the Mahoning Valley this week to try to peel off Democratic Trump supporters who gave Trump heavy support in the state's March primary.
Mahoning County has only voted for two Republicans in the past 60 years; Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower – a win for Trump in the entire valley which is made up of Mahoning, Trumball, Portage and Stark counties could put him over the top of Clinton on Election Day.
Next week Barack Obama is coming to the state Thursday and Friday in an attempt to motivate black and young voters to show up in the numbers that they did for him.
Trump has kept this steady lead without the help of the incumbent Gov. John Kasich, a former rival in the presidential primary process, Kasich has steadfastly refused to endorse or do anything to support the brash nominee.
Kasich won this state handily in the primary over Trump — a victory that in large measure resulted from his work with Ohio state Republican Chairman Matt Borges.
Their was formed during Kasich's successful gubernatorial re-election bid in 2014, when both men did yeoman's work with local party organizations in identifying voters and getting them to the polls.
Kasich won more than 62 percent of the vote, compared to to 35 percent for his Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald a Cuyahoga County chief executive; Kasich won not just most demographic groups but improved over his 2010 win with moderates, blacks, Democrats and working class whites according to the exit polls after the race.
Kasich and Borges are helping in the background to re-elect Rob Portman, the incumbent U.S. Senator — who is also beating the odds in Ohio in the race to hold the majority in the senate for the Republicans — over rival Ted Strickland, the former Democratic governor who lost to Kasich in 2010.
On Wednesday the six-term former congressman and director of the Office of Management and Budget continued his climb in the polls by opening up a 17-point lead in the latest Quinnipiac University survey which showed the former George W. Bush White House official with 55 percent support from likely voters, compared to just 38 percent for Strickland.
The poll is just one of several surveys in recent weeks indicating that the once-close race is now all but over.
The contrast between Portman's traditional campaign style, door to door, with plenty of voter contact by volunteers and surrogates could not be more different than Trump's style – yet both are winning a state Democrats planned on making ground zero for regaining the Senate and a firewall for Hillary to win the presidency.
Instead Portman's deep strength in the state has helped the odds for the GOP to hold the majority and re-arranged the map that Hillary needs to win the 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College.
"I think that a significant difference is that Portman is running a very powerful, yet traditional campaign in Ohio" said Paul Sracic, Youngstown State University political scientist.
"He has had plenty of money, and both Portman and PACs that support him, have been on the air for months, defining Strickland as a failed governor," he said.
Sracic says Portman is a tireless campaigner, who has simply outworked Strickland on the ground and one of the reasons that Trump is not on par with Portman is that Kasich is very popular in this area, and his opposition to Trump is dampening enthusiasm for his campaign in those areas.
This election cycle shows a very volatile electorate, at least in Ohio, showing a willingness to support two Republicans, one a polished insider, the other a brash outsider. Either way the Democrats and probably a lot of Republicans are scratching their heads over this one.
The really interesting question involves who will emerge as the Ohio presidential candidate in 2020 if Trump loses, said Sracic, "Everyone thinks Kasich, but a double digit victory by Portman against a formidable Democratic challenger will be hard to ignore, he said.
Plus Portman has endorsed Trump and so, unlike Kasich, will not be among those blamed by Republicans if Trump loses a close election.
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