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Experts to Explore Ohio’s Key Role in Presidential Politics

Ohio’s central role in selecting “the leader of the free world” will be the focus of the first event in a new speaker series designed to provide a basic primer on presidential elections. “Politically Speaking: Presidential Politics in the State of Ohio” is sponsored by Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Kent State University, and John Carroll University.

This consortium’s unique, Buckeye State-centric examination of the presidential election process in the lead up to Cleveland hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention in July is set to kick off with an appearance by Kyle Kondik, managing editor of the University of Virginia Center for Politics newsletter Sabato’s Crystal Ball and author of the forthcoming book The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President (Ohio University Press, June 2016).

Kondik will deliver a talk titled “Ohio’s Role in Choosing the Next President” at 7 p.m. Friday, February 26, in CSU’s Main Classroom Auditorium, 1899 East 22nd Street, Cleveland. His appearance is co-sponsored by CSU and BW.

“Ohio has correctly picked the winner of the presidential election in 28 of the last 30 elections, going back to 1896,” said Kondik, an Independence native. “This is no coincidence. Reflective of the nation as a whole, with an identity that is equal parts agricultural and industrial, Northern and Southern, and no dominant urban center or dominant social/cultural identification, Ohio is uniquely situated as a presidential bellwether state.”

Following Kondik’s presentation, a panel of local experts will assess the importance of Ohio to presidential politics and its impact on the state’s political landscape and culture. The panel will be moderated by Jo Ann Davidson, former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and co-chair of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The “Politically Speaking Series” will continue with a discussion of the presidential primary process by Amy Walter, national editor of The Cook Political Report and NBC “Meet the Press” panelist, at 7 p.m. Monday, March 31, at JCU.

Future installments will address “Why Polling Data Still Matters” (sponsored by KSU in April) and “The Economic Impact of National Political Conventions” (sponsored by Tri-C in June). Additional speakers and other details will be announced soon.

The event is free and open to the public. For event information and registration, please visit