Ohio is the center of the American political universe again today, as Republican and Democratic voters cast what could be critical ballots for the six remaining major party candidates.
Voters across the state shared their thoughts about the Ohio primary and why they're voting the way they are.
At a polling place in Columbus, Larry Moore said he voted a Democratic ballot. “Hillary because – the lesser of evils. I’m not much of a Bernie fan. I think Hillary has a better chance in the general election.”
John Roush of Columbus said he and his wife will pull two different ballots so they can vote for one party locally and one for president. “I’m going to vote Republican, she’s going to vote Democrat.” But they’re both for Kasich.
Caitie Shelley of Cleveland is a Democrat, but says she thought about requesting a GOP ballot for one reason. “The fact that Donald Trump has been doing so well is just really scary to me, so I almost voted Republican so that I could vote for someone else and just so it’s just one Republican vote not for Donald Trump.”
Recent polls have shown Trump trailing Kasich among Ohio Republican voters.
James Spitzer of Cleveland never voted for a major party candidate because of ties to corporate donors – but cast a ballot for Bernie Sanders. “He was the first candidate I felt like voting for from a major party. I didn’t want to vote for Clinton, I didn’t want to vote for any of the Republicans.”
Matthew Westergaard of Columbus and his girlfriend are staunch Democrats but voted for John Kasich, even though he feels the Democratic candidate might have a harder time against Kasich this fall. “I would much rather see the Democrat go up against a closer fight or even lose than by God’s grace we end up with President Trump.”
And at her Columbus polling place, Kathy Martinson voted for Kasich, who she called sane, rational and experienced. And she voted “against Trump because I think he is everything I don’t want to see in life. He’s everything I taught my kids not to be.”
Jasmine Chavess of Columbus voted for Bernie Sanders. “It just seems like he’s more for us than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, that’s why. And I’ve just been following him a little bit more. And I just don’t like Donald Trump. I think he’s going to tarnish us if he gets in.”
Ryan Collins of Lakewood voted early for Hillary and has volunteered for her. “I support Bernie as well. I voted for Hillary, but I will vote blue in the general.”
Rick Foran of Cleveland is an independent went on Facebook to ask his Democratic friends to cross the aisle and request a Republican ballot and vote for Kasich. “I would not support Trump and I think we need to stop him and Cruz is not to my favor either.”
Ohio has an open primary, so Democrats can switch their registration and vote Republican, or vice versa.
Sarah Ware of Columbus voted for Bernie Sanders, who she considers an outside who will shake things up. “I will say it was a tougher choice than I thought it would be. Over the recent debates, Hillary Clinton has impressed me more than she did before.”
Kate Fisher of Columbus voted for John Kasich. But it wasn’t just a vote for him….it was a vote “against certain parties, or certain people, yes.”
Juanita Rusk of Westerville voted for Donald Trump. But she likes John Kasich. “I was afraid of Trump did not win Ohio he might be out. I think Trump and Kasich would be the perfect ticket.” And Rusk got a chance to see Kasich in person. She voted in her Westerville polling place just after Kasich cast his ballot for himself.