Biden puts Ohio in play

Buoyed by polls showing him leading President Donald Trump, Biden’s campaign boosted its TV advertising budget to $4.1 million for this month, nearly quadruple what he spent last month and two-thirds of his total ad budget for the state. The day after the first debate with Trump in Cleveland, Biden made his first appearance in Ohio on Wednesday as the Democratic presidential nominee.

A confluence of forces has made Ohio competitive again in the eyes of Democrats. The economy and health care amid the pandemic are bad. Trump is bleeding white working-class and suburban voters in polls. Conservatives in the state are warring with Republican Gov. Mike DeWine for locking down the state during the pandemic…

Republicans argue that Democrats are misreading the state. Trump has a unique appeal in Ohio, they say, and Biden’s record of approving trade deals that benefited China will haunt him, regardless of what the polls suggest.

“It’s impossible for Joe Biden to win Ohio,” said Bob Paduchik, a senior Trump adviser in Ohio, pointing to Biden’s votes to approve trade deals that benefited China and on which many blue-collar workers blame job losses. “Joe Biden voted for NAFTA and he’s soft on China. Whether you’re a farmer or a factory worker you know that’s a losing proposition for Ohio.”