We can talk all day about what the poll numbers are telling us about the Governor’s race, but there was a question asked of voters that should leave all Ohioans pretty nervous.
Nearly half of the youngest Ohioans – those between the ages of 18 and 29 – told the poll they would move elsewhere.
Three of 10 polled said they would leave Ohio for “better weather,” something that is out of any governor’s control. But a combined 36 percent cited economic reasons – lower taxes, “better economic conditions,” and the ability to find a job.
Half of the state’s young people want to leave a state? And the biggest reason is the economy?
Ohioans are Ohio’s best natural resource. The more that leave, the less the state’s ability to provide skilled and dedicated workers to businesses that want to come to the Buckeye State.
While a top higher education system is highly important to Ohio’s future, a focus must be made to increase the demand for Ohio graduates. How do we do that? We make Ohio more attractive to businesses than not just neighboring states, but the rest of the nation as a whole.
Governor Strickland has failed to create a business environment that makes it attractive to businesses. How do we know? Well, you ask the guys that decide where businesses are built – the CEOs.
And CEO Magazine did just that a few months ago. What did they find?
Ohio is the 44th best state in the nation for business.
That kind of ranking doesn’t bring jobs to Ohio. And the 600,000 out of work Ohioans can testify to that. As can Ohio’s labor force which is at its 2nd lowest point of the year.
Until Ohio does enough to drastically improve that ranking among CEOs, there won’t be a demand for Ohio college graduates. And without a higher demand for college graduates, they’ll continue to look elsewhere for opportunities.
Governor Strickland believes he nothing else can be done to improve Ohio’s standing. How else do you explain his absolute failure to introduce any new ideas to fix what ails the state? To him, the status quo is enough. Now with just 36 days until election day, Strickland has lost his chance to make any new proposals. Anything would be seen as far too opportunistic and desperate. He lives and dies on his record. The status quo.
The Cincinnati Enquirer actually phrased the choice facing Ohioans better than I ever could:
But we clearly prefer Kasich for his ability to offer fresh, innovative approaches to growth, government reform and job creation, while Strickland represents a cautious status quo that lacks the aggressive, business-oriented approach the state needs. Ohio needs the real change Kasich offers.