Thousands of Ohioans were out in full force on Thursday night as former President Barack Obama continued his crusade to flip Congress and help Democrats win governorships all across the country.
At a rally in Cleveland to support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, Obama lambasted the Republican Party for blindly following Trump through every bit of disturbing rhetoric and policymaking.
“This is not normal what we’re seeing. It is radical,” the 44th president said. “It is a vision that says that it’s more important for those who are in power to protect that power even when it hurts the country.”
Obama added, “What you’re seeing is Republicans in Congress who are bending over backwards to try to shield and deflect oversight of this behavior and accountability and consequences.”
The solution, Obama said, is simple: Democrats need to get out and vote.
“When we don’t vote, when we take our voice for granted, demagogues get out there and they promise simple fixes,” the president said in a not-so-subtle jab at the man who succeeded him. “They’ll try to pretend like they have answers even when they don’t know the problem.”
Obama‘s full speech:
Obama is driving Democratic enthusiasm
Since Obama hit the campaign trail last week, Democrats appear to be more energized than ever during an election year when liberal enthusiasm was already through the roof.
According to polling, the Democratic lead over Republicans on the generic congressional ballot has doubled since the middle of August. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Democrats with a stunning 14-point edge over the GOP.
At the same time, Trump‘s approval rating has started to implode, falling back into the 30s as his presidency collapses under the weight of corruption and incompetence. The Midwest, where Trump‘s razor-thin victories in 2016 propelled him to the presidency, appears to be fueling that drastic decline.
That’s why in Ohio, which Trump carried by eight percentage points two years ago, the Democratic field of candidates – from Richard Cordray to Sherrod Brown – is on the verge of turning the state blue again.
Obama’s presence in Ohio on Thursday didn’t just energize voters in a state he carried twice, but it also offered a stark reminder of just how far the country has fallen in the Trump era. The most effective way to repair the damage Trump has done before it’s irreversible is to send Democrats to Congress and statehouses in November.
In the Buckeye State, motivated by Barack Obama, it appears voters are ready to do just that.
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Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.