In Appalachia Ohio, party allegiances dissolve, TV ads spar

LISBON, Ohio (AP) — Appalachian Ohio is a small but mighty barometer this election cycle of how voter disillusionment and anger will play out.

It’s a stronghold of white working-class voters increasingly dissatisfied with the status quo, a place where party labels mean even less than usual lately.

Some Democrats plan to cross party lines to vote for Republican Donald Trump for president, while some Republicans plan to support Democrat Ted Strickland, a former congressman and one-term governor, over incumbent Republican Rob Portman for Senate. Portman recently was endorsed by coal miners.

The swath of rural and industrial counties running south down the state’s eastern border is almost exclusively white and high school-educated.

Trump won most counties in the region in Ohio’s Republican primary in March. The contest also featured extensive voter crossover statewide.

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