John Russo

John Russo is a visiting researcher at the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University, co-author of Steeltown U.S.A.: Work and Memory in Youngstown, and co-editor with Sherry Linkon of the blog Working-Class Perspectives.

Recent Articles

Why Democrats Lose in Ohio

An ossified state party needs a long-overdue makeover if this key swing state is to swing back toward the Democrats.

(Photo: AP/John Minchillo)
When a Monday Night Football game seemed lost in the 1970s, the late sports announcer Don Meredith would begin singing the Willie Nelson song, “The Party’s Over.” Many Ohio Democrats are now singing the same tune about the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP), and for good reason. Ohio Democrats have suffered two decades of major defeats. Ohio Republicans have a 12-to-4 advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives; Democrats hold only nine seats in the 33-seat Ohio Senate and only 33 of 99 seats in the Ohio House. The last statewide election that Democrats won for an executive branch seat was in 2008. This series of ODP defeats foreshadowed Hillary Clinton’s Ohio defeat in the 2016 election, and it may also put Senator Sherrod Brown, one of the nation’s most prominent liberal Democrats, in danger of losing his 2018 re-election bid. In addition, if Democrats want to control redistricting after the 2020 census, they need to win races for governor and secretary of...