The annual event, which is moved outside Columbus during off-year elections, featured Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel of Lyndhurst (near Cleveland), who is running for the U.S. Senate next year, and Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, a conservative who regularly speaks about GOP priorities.
The two politicians and others at the dinner easily revved up the crowd by blaming Democrats for the nation’s debt problems and by praising themselves for passing a collective bargaining law for public workers in Ohio that limits the power of unions.
Cuyahoga County Republicans deserved to have the event in their backyard because they provide the GOP a big chunk of votes in state elections, Ohio Republican Party chair Kevin DeWine said during the dinner.
To illustrate this point, he noted that in 2008 Republican Sen. John McCain garnered more votes for the presidency in the Democratic-dominated county than he did in seven states.
PolitiFact Ohio thought the statistic was worth examining given the GOP’s view that Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s most populous, is a battleground within a battleground state that could have a big say in the fate of the new collective bargining law, which will be before voters in November.
"The Republican Party must compete aggressively in Cuyahoga County in order to carry the state," explains DeWine, who sees the recent public corruption scandal involving Democratic officials as helping the GOP cause.
So how many votes did McCain win in the county?
The last amended 2008 general election results on file with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections shows that McCain received 199,880, or about 30 percent. Democrat Barack Obama received 458,422 votes.
Comparing this figure against the state vote totals, McCain indeed racked up more votes in Cuyahoga County than he did in seven states.
Obama carried these four states, shown here with McCain’s vote totals:
- Vermont (98,974 votes)
- Hawaii (120,566)
- Delaware (152,374)
- Rhode Island (165,391)
McCain carried three of the states with fewer votes than he got in Cuyahoga County:
- Wyoming (164,958 votes)
- North Dakota (168,601)
- Alaska (193,841)
It’s not hard to see why Cuyahoga County offers so much.
The county’s population in the 2010 census of 1,280,122 makes it more populous than six of the seven states in the comparison. Only Hawaii, which has 1,360,301 residents, is bigger. Wyoming is the smallest with 563,626 residents.
All of this leaves DeWine’s claim right on the mark.
On the Truth-O-Meter, his claim rates True.