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Amy Coney Barrett's nomination means great things for Trump in critical Ohio, GOP strategists say


'Real backlash for Democrats like Joe Biden'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"So goes Ohio, so goes the nation."

Since 1896, voters in the Buckeye State have correctly selected the eventual winner of the presidential election all but two times and in every election since 1960, when the majority of Ohioans selected Richard Nixon to beat eventual President John F. Kennedy.

President Donald Trump won the state in 2016 — and Republican strategists say Trump stands to win the state again, citing Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court.

What are they saying?

According to the strategists, Barrett's nomination has galvanized those voters critical to winning Ohio.

In fact, Ohio Republican strategist Mike Hartley told the Washington Examiner that Trump's commitment to appoint conservative justices to the entire federal judiciary throughout his presidency is winning over voters.

"In Ohio, most of the polling I've seen has had very, very few what's called 'leaners,' or undecided. What that means is that it's all about turnout," Hartley explained. "There's no persuasion going on in the state of Ohio. It's all about turnout. And I can tell you from 2016, there are an awful lot of conservative voters who may not have agreed with candidate Trump back in 2016. But the courts, and the appointments of judges, was incredibly important to them. And that's why they voted for candidate Trump at that time."

Another strategist, Mark Weaver, agreed. He told the Examiner that Democratic attacks on Barrett may backfire, spurring voters to support Trump.

"In Ohio, I think this nomination helps President Trump," Weaver said. "Suburban women like this nominee because they see themselves in her. Catholic voters, of which there are many in Ohio, resent the attacks on Judge Barrett, which could have a real backlash for Democrats like Joe Biden."

In fact, Ohio's Citizens for Community Values President Aaron Baer told the Examiner that Barrett's nomination has revitalized support for Trump in areas where he might have lost it.

"Especially in Northeast Ohio, where there's quite a few Catholics, maybe your classical Blue Dog Democrats that love their unions and their public schools, but who are also pro-life and love their church, we are seeing the '16 momentum that was there for the president really come back," Baer said.

What do the polls show?

While Trump currently trails Joe Biden nationally by an average of 10 points, according to RealClearPolitics, the margin between the two is not as large in battleground states, which are critical to winning the election.

In fact, Biden's average lead in Ohio is currently less than one point, according to RCP. Biden leads in battleground states by less than five points overall, indicating the race is closer than what national polls suggest.

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