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How the economy could sway voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania

by Matt Phillips
Nov 8 2016, 4:07am

Ohio and Pennsylvania are two target-rich environments for the Trump campaign. Trump’s populist, anti-trade message has resonated with non-college-educated, older, white voters who make up large blocks of the electorate in both states.

While Ohio’s important automotive industry has rebounded sharply in recent years, the long-term jobs picture in the state has been bleak. (That lack of growth has contributed to the state’s difficulty attracting younger people, one of the reasons the state is less diverse than the nation as a whole.)

Meanwhile, the once-mighty steel industry in eastern Pennsylvania is currently struggling with a flood of cheap Chinese exports, which might help the businessman’s hard-edged, anti-China rhetoric gain traction.

For Hillary Clinton, the key — as always for Democrats in Pennsylvania — is to come out of the diverse Philadelphia region with large majorities, hopefully buttressed by more affluent, educated voters in surrounding suburbs.

As of 3:37 p.m. in Ohio, with nearly 60 percent of expected votes observed, VoteCastr’s model has Clinton at 46 percent to Trump’s 45 percent. At the same time, Pennsylvania has 45.9 percent of votes observed, and currently shows Clinton at 48 percent vs. Trump’s 44 percent.