Ohio counts come election time

Jen Steer

People native to Ohio see the state as bland and boring. The license plate is even dull. “The birthplace of aviation” doesn’t exactly make people flock to the state.

But we all seem to forget how important the state of Ohio is when it comes to politics. We are a true battleground state. When the media became tired of Florida during the 2000 presidential elections, they shifted their focus to us for 2004. We might not matter when it comes to a lot of things (sports, for instance), but we matter when it comes to politics. From Jon Stewart’s “Midwest Midterm Midtacular” to Wolf Blitzer in “The Situation Room,” no one can leave us alone this election year.

With the possibility of a major shakeup in Congress, the race for U.S. Senate is a hot topic. I can hardly remember a time where “Ohio” was said so many times on network news stations. Sherrod Brown and Mike DeWine have really made it an election to watch out of pure entertainment value.

And no one can deny that a little star power makes it all more interesting. Michael J. Fox’s appearance with Brown in Columbus received nationwide attention because it was just after Rush Limbaugh’s ridiculous remarks about Fox’s commercials supporting stem cell research. The footage of Fox speaking in front of a wall lined with Sherrod Brown signs is still in heavy rotation at CNN. Plus, you can’t tell me that Brown didn’t motivate some of the 18 to 20 year-old-girl demographic by signing on Adam Brody to speak. This has all helped to bring more attention to the state, whether the attention is positive or not.

Even the House majority leader, Republican John Boehner, is from Ohio. Now, I’m not a fan of conservatives, but just take this as proof that Ohio doesn’t suck completely at everything.

However, we do suck when it comes to scandal, and this is a newly developing trend. Recent scandals involving current Gov. Bob Taft and the so-called “Coingate” have brought some national attention to Ohio’s internal politics.

The most recent controversial event is the resignation of Rep. Bob Ney. He already plead guilty to making false statements, and now he resigned instead of facing expulsion. The GOP has been forced to handle criticism over various members of Congress being linked to Jack Abramoff. This situation goes past party lines and brings a scandal home.

This is not another “Vote because it’s your civic duty” articles. Instead this is a “Vote because your state could actually determine the policy making in the United States” article. This could even be considered a plea to pay attention to what goes on in this state.

We are down to the wire, folks. By the end of the day tomorrow, the United States could be looking at a new and realigned Congress. Ohio is a state that could determine the outcome, and that’s something we should be proud of.

Jen Steer is a junior broadcast news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].