President Barack Obama, joined by Ohio governor Ted Strickland, came to Ohio today to continue his permanent campaign on health-care legislation. His campaign events during the 2008 presidential race attracted crowds of thousands of Ohioans; this time, President Obama managed a crowd of about 200 people. With his negative approval numbers in Ohio (44 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove), it isn’t much of a surprise that few showed up to hear him once again talk about health care. On health care, Ohioans disapprove of the job President Obama is doing (34 percent approve, 58 percent disapprove). On the health-care proposal, 56 percent of Ohioans mostly disapprove of it, with 43 percent believing that the proposed changes go too far.
The fact of the matter is that Ohioans are almost solely focused on jobs, jobs, and more jobs. On the economy, President Obama is heavily into negative territory (37 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove) as Ohioans in large numbers disprove of his handling of the economy. Given the fact that Ohio had a net increase in jobs from 1990–2010 of just 79,100 private sector jobs in a state of 11.4 million people, these findings shouldn’t be a surprise. For Ohioans, it really is time that President Obama stopped trying to ram health-care legislation through and started doing what he said he would do in the State of the Union speech — focus like a laser on jobs.
– Matt A. Mayer is president of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions.