Primary a big deal for Ohio

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Newt Gingrich is focusing on Ohio for next month's primary, but just how important is it and what do the voters want to hear from candidates?

Hamilton County elections officials expect about 25 percent voter turnout during the March 6 primary. That compares to 46 percent back in 2008.

Xavier University Political Science Professor Gene Beaupre says all the political advertising can be a turn off for voters.

"Not only are we getting bombarded, but the messages are negative so I think that's leaving a negative attitude among the electorate," said Beaupre.

Beaupre says among the stump speeches and debates voters want to hear a message that hits them where they live.

"Its really important for candidates to be able to talk to voters in their homes about issues that they can understand. Candidates have to find issues that resonate with voters," he said.

Ten states hold their primaries March 6, but Beaupre says Ohio voters will be getting plenty of attention from the candidates.

"Ohio is a big deal regardless if a nominee is picked. It's a key state, it's a swing state," Beaupre said.

Dr. Dan Blaney is a voter who thinks primaries are important, but says they're losing steam.

"Primaries have gotten just a little out of hand. I'm sick of debates. I think we've debated it to the point where they've lost their effectiveness," said Dr. Blaney.

Emily Hill admits she's less concerned about the primaries.

"I don't care too much, I'm not sure how much influence it really has. I'm interested to see who gets nominated, but I'm not paying that much attention to the process," said Hill.

Steve Hennessy says he's grown cynical about politics.

"I don't care about the primaries at all. I think politics is a wasteland that I've not had any interest in in a long time," Hennessy said.

Beaupre says the republicans are likely to make a big splash in Ohio March 6, and he says President Obama will probably be visiting the state soon after.  Michelle Obama is scheduled to be in Cincinnati Feb. 23 to raise money for her husband's campaign.

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