CINCINNATI — As the second night of the GOP convention wound down Tuesday, both Republicans and Democrats agree all eyes are on swing states like Ohio come this fall, and these conventions may be each party’s best chance of swaying undecided voters with two very different visions for the country.
Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor believes this year’s COVID-19 pandemic has people paying more attention to politics and government.
“It’s always the economy,” said Pastor, a Republican. “With the pandemic that’s here, worldwide pandemic once in a lifetime, there’s a real fear about people getting back to work and getting back to a sense of normalcy.”
The impact of both parties' conventions remains to be seen, but both Democrats and Republicans agree this may be their party’s best chance at winning over those still trying to choose a candidate.
“I think what we’re seeing is two different versions of where these candidates want America to go,” Pastor said.
Democratic Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval agrees, arguing that’s what Joe Biden can provide.
He attended his first DNC virtually and believes the promise of a better economic future and a different approach to COVID-19 could turn voters away from President Donald Trump.
“Because President Trump has failed to lead on the economy, because he’s failed to lead on COVID-19, because he’s failed to lead on systemic racism, that unfortunately has affected our country and our community. All President Trump has is fear,” Pureval said.
While the conventional ways of campaigning aren’t viable this year, both leaders hope voter turnout will be higher than years past.
“Americans are looking for something optimistic, an inclusive vision for the future of our country,” Pureval said.
Pastor agreed, saying Ohioans are ready to cast a ballot.
“I do believe that folks, because of the pandemic and because of everything’s that going on, I think that folks are really going to turn out and make their voices heard through their vote,” he said.