You can overthink and overstate indicators like this, but I think Third Base Politics has the tone right in noticing the 8,000 who turned out for a rally in Cleveland featuring President Obama and underdog Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland:
From WKYC: The event drew a crowd of 8,000. Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center holds 14,000. There were contingency plans in place for a possible second event at Krenzler Field to handle an overflow crowd that never materialized.
Now don’t get me wrong. 8,000 is a heckuva turnout for a normal, gubernatorial campaign rally. It’s one any statewide candidate would love to have. But this event was with the leader of the free world.
This event was in the heart of what’s supposed to be ground zero for Democrats in Ohio. This event was supposed to have far more than 14,000 people. Instead, they had just over half that. One thing is clear – Cleveland isn’t energized to a level that the Strickland campaign expects. If it was, 14,000+ would have shown up. They didn’t. Not by a longshot. And that’s bad news for Strickland.
And just think, the Cleveland Browns had the bye week.