As Ohio voters cast ballots in Tuesday's presidential primary, the economy — specifically manufacturing jobs — will be front and center on many voters' minds.
"We have to have a strong manufacturing base for this country to survive," said Brandon Lamoncha, sales manager and solution provider at Humtown, a third-generation, family owned manufacturer in Columbiana, Ohio. "I have to vote later today and I'm still undecided. I really don't know," said Lamoncha, who is a registered Republican and has supported Gov. John Kasich in past local races.
And it is precisely this wariness about the state's economic prospects that Donald Trump has mined. The contest in the Buckeye State is crucial, as a victory by Kasich could stall Trump's march to secure a majority of delegates needed for his party's nomination.
Ohio is among five states holding primary elections Tuesday along with Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina.
Lamoncha and other regional manufacturers have worked hard to anchor jobs in the area despite offshoring trends and lower wages in China and elsewhere. "Our customer base has shrunk almost 50 percent since my grandfather founded the company" in a garage in 1959, he said.