President Donald Trump may have just taken Ohio off the table for 2020. While Democrats scramble to recover other Midwestern states (such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania) they lost in 2016, it seems unlikely they will wrest Ohio from Trump’s column, given his personal engagement in saving auto industry jobs in the state. If you are one of the masochistic few who loves hearing your phone ring 48 times a day every fourth October, you are about to be sorely disappointed.
Word of Trump’s intervention in Lordstown was promising news to the Mahoning Valley, where 1,600 jobs were thought to be lost forever after General Motors closed its plant there in March. Some local and national media outlets pounced on the President back then, accusing him of breaking his promise to remember the working families of northeast Ohio. Democrats used it as a talking point to blunt the impact of the other good economic news flowing during Trump’s tenure.
But then the President’s Twitter feed electrified the state Wednesday. He announced that General Motors had agreed to invest $700 million in Ohio, creating 450 new jobs around the state, and that GM was selling its shuttered Lordstown plant to a manufacturer of electric trucks (a deal for the potential sale has not yet been struck, but GM has confirmed it is in discussions). Given that 700 of the displaced Lordstown workers have already found jobs at other GM facilities, there’s now at least a chance that some of the rest of them could land back at their old plant under a new shingle.