What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Why Ohio Matters

March 6, 2012, 5:39 AM

Here’s what we can expect for Super Tuesday. Mitt Romney will win his home state of Massachusetts, the neighboring state of Vermont, and Virginia, where Ron Paul is the only other candidate on the ballot. Rick Santorum will win Oklahoma. And Newt Gingrich will win his home state of Virginia. When all the ballots are counted, Romney will probably come away with the most delegates by a comfortable margin.

What we don’t know is what will happen in Ohio and Tennessee. Santorum was ahead in both states for some time. But recent polls show that Romney has made the race close in both states. Santorum still appears to be the slight favorite in Tennessee, while Romney may now be the favorite in Ohio. Even winning both states wouldn’t give Romney and insurmountable lead in the delegate count. But if Romney can win both in midwestern Ohio and in the Bible Belt state of Tennessee, it’s difficult to see how Santorum can win the nomination.

Ohio matters the most. Republicans are likely to win Tennessee in the fall no matter who they nominate. But Ohio is a swing state. It could go either way and could easily decide a close election. Moreover, the same issue that will likely determine the general election, the economy, will largely determine who wins the Ohio primary.

As I wrote last week, Romney has difficulty appealing to the blue-collar voters that make up a large part of Ohio’s electorate. He managed to win in Michigan, even though exit polls show he lost among voters who made less than $100,000 a year. In a careful analysis of a recent YouGov poll, John Sides and Lynn Vavreck found that 88% percent of respondents said Romney cares about the wealthy, but just 35% said he cares about people like themselves—a 53 point difference. Fewer people thought Santorum was more likely to care about the wealthy than about themselves, with 81% saying he cares about the wealthy, compared to 49% who said he cares about people like them. For Obama the difference between the numbers was even smaller, with 58% saying he cares about the wealthy, versus 50% who said that he cares about people like themselves—just an 8 point cap. If Romney loses blue-collar voters in Ohio to Santorum, he’s going to have a hard time convincing them he’s their candidate in the general election.

That’s why all eyes are on Ohio. A Republican could certainly lose Ohio and still win the presidency.  But it would be a lot harder to win the general election without Ohio. If Romney wins the Ohio primary, Republican leaders may begin to pull their support from Santorum, which would make it hard for him to continue. But if Santorum can pull off a victory, it will raise serious questions about Romney’s ability to beat Obama. Big Thinkers Kris Broughton and Peter Lawler are probably right to argue that Romney will win anyway. Romney would certainly remain the favorite to win the nomination. Nevertheless the race would continue to go on. And if Romney lost Ohio by a large enough margin, some Republicans would think seriously about backing a late-entry candidate to challenge him.

Ohio Statehouse image from Alexander Smith


Why Ohio Matters

Newsletter: Share: