Reporting from Dayton, Ohio— In the fading evening light, Jeff Snider played catch in the middle of the street with his 14-year-old son, the baseball thwacking their mitts. They stepped out of the way and waved when cars passed. The friendly neighborhoods in hilly Oakwood, a picture-perfect suburb nestled against Dayton, belong in a brochure for the American Dream. But the tranquillity hides a churning discontent.Continue reading.
A lanky high school math teacher, Snider worries about the mortgage and the cost of sending four children to college. He's dismayed by the federal debt, unhappy that the bank bailout "benefited people with huge, huge salaries," irritated that politicians cater to the rich and the poor but not the middle class, and distressed "big time" by the nation's division into hostile political camps.
In this season of political promises, the 44-year-old had a crisp response to whether he believed the country was headed in the right direction, or the wrong one. "No direction," he pronounced. "I look at the candidates running for president, and I say, 'That's the best they can do?' "
For almost a decade, as manufacturing jobs ebbed and cities shrank, Ohioans have told pollsters they are discouraged about the fate of the nation, putting them at the head of the pessimism curve. Even as Super Tuesday's 10 contests — with Ohio the key battleground — arrived with undercurrents of an economic revival, interviews with voters in the Dayton area found that deep anxieties remain.
And at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum make one last run at Ohio voters before Super Tuesday":
Ohio, where polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., is one of 10 states holding nominating contests today. But far and wide it is being watched as a decisive prize in a primary season that has gone on longer than many anticipated. The Buckeye State awards 66 delegates to the Republican National Convention and remains a top electoral target in the fall.Also, from Dan Riehl at Big Government, "Super Tuesday Preview." And from Erin McPike and Scott Conroy at RCP, "How the Super Tuesday States Shape Up."