The Last Word | March 07, 2012
>>> who won last night's presidential primary contest in ohio ? the republican presidential primary contest in ohio ? well, romney got 456,000 votes, santorum got 445,000 votes. the person who got the most votes in ohio last night was the candidate who wasn't running against anyone. president obama got 547,000 votes last night in ohio , which means that more voters in ohio left their homes, left work, got in their cars, came out, travelled to a voting place and cast symbolic ballots to renominate president obama in an uncontested primary than the voters who supported either mitt romney or rick santorum . ohio is a must-win state for republicans. no republican in the last 150 years has ever won the election without winning ohio . in ohio last night, mitt romney lost to people making under $100,000 a year, 70% of the people who voted in that republican primary . joining me now to drill down on the results of last night's election in the all important state of ohio is steve kornacki. i figure whenever votes are cast in ohio , study them. that's where john kerry missed the presidency by a flip of 60,000 votes, it would have been different. what did we see in ohio ? i am hugely impressed that over a half a million people in ohio went out and said, i'm going to cast a vote for president obama , even though i know he doesn't need any votes at all.
>> there's some real energy out there.
>> it's a continuation of what we've been seeing in other primaries so far, not just with the turnout for obama , but the high turnout for obama but low turnout for the republican race.
>> this is the low turnout, in the year of the tea party rage against the president.
>> this tea party needs to change america, bring back america, all those slogans, they're not sure --
>> literally what the republicans are left with out of this process, there's going to be no energy for that nominee. they really are banking on all the energy being opposition to obama .
>> these guys are flirting with, roughly a third, a little more than a third of the electorate in the states, that's what they call a win. and when you're campaigning in ohio in a primary like this, you want to be locking in votes for november, you need to run a campaign in ohio that is particular to ohio , you know as the republican i have to win this state. it can't just be a game about winning that republican -- having a win last night.
>> well, what jumps out at me, the interesting thing about ohio is there are 88 counties there. they're actually aren't that many swing counties within ohio . i think there are only six that changed hands between 2004 in the kerry/bush race and 2008 in the obama /mccain race. when you look at those six counties last night for clues, there's one that was a good sign, ham until ton county where cincinnati is. haven't voted for a democrat since lbj. that's good, but the -- four of the other five swing counties last night web with the for santorum. one problem area for romney jumped out at me, when we go to the northwest part of the state where toledo is, toledo is more dependent on detroit and the auto industry . romney was winning the cities in ohio , he was winning the blue cities. he lost toledo , he lost the three counties around toledo that went for bush in '08. i think he hurt himself there yesterday, and that could have implications for the fall.
>> the funny thing about all these candidates opposed the auto bailout, there's something about romney 's opposition that rings louder and clearer to people.
>> it's part of the larger trend with romney , where he's associated with top 1% in general. you can put the income statistics up there, this guy really is relying on a coalition of people making more than $100,000. when you go higher, $200,000 or more, he won by 29 points.
>> the only where you can get a third of the electorate is in a republican primary .
>> right. the turnout is actually higher, at least in ohio , i'm not sure in other states, in ohio the turnout was higher this time around among the wealthy than it was before. and you look at where the state was won for obama , how he flipped it in 2008 , it was between about 30 and 100,000 on the income scale. that's where he made the biggest gains from john kerry in 2004 .
>> rachel made the point in the previous hour, that the rich have finally found the candidate worth really going out of their way for. that's the only surge in turnout you see is among the 100,0$100,000 earning voters.
>> that's really the fundamental question, with mitt romney for the future of his campaign, the sort of reluctance of blue collar republicans, is that i'd ideological or is that a response to his aristocratic bear something.
>> everything looked good for president obama in ohio last night. steve kornacki thanks for joining