He also believes that Mr. Trump’s political rivals are exaggerating the economic damage from the pandemic to hurt the president in the November election.
“Are there some Democrats out there who maybe were saying, ‘We’re not going to go back to work until the election?’” Mr. Moore said. “You got to look at the level of hatred towards President Trump, and there’s people who don’t want him to have a second term.’’
Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, which covers the booming suburbs north of Columbus and a handful of counties in central Ohio, was drawn to be a Republican district by the G.O.P.-controlled state legislature after the 2010 census. The district backed Mitt Romney by 10.5 points in 2012 and Mr. Trump by 11.3 points in 2016.
By 2018, however, the district’s suburban voters had eroded the Republican advantage. An August special election that year to replace Pat Tiberi, a Republican who had resigned the seat, was decided by just 1,564 votes. In the November midterm elections, the Republican candidate, Troy Balderson, beat Danny O’Connor, a Democrat, by only four percentage points.
“There are a lot of folks who voted for Donald Trump, who voted for me and are voting for Joe Biden,” Mr. O’Connor said, referring to the closeness of his 2018 loss. “I cannot imagine people who voted for me not voting for Joe Biden.”
Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton put it more succinctly: “White educated voters, I can’t find a single one of them that’s voting for Trump,” she said, adding for emphasis, “These are long-term Republicans.”
But voters like Mr. Moore have stuck with Mr. Trump. Mark Johnson, the president of the Tri-State Building & Construction Trades Council, a group of unions representing workers in southern Ohio, said about 70 percent of his members were backing the president for re-election. There are practical reasons, he said, citing Mr. Trump’s promotion of coal mining, which is prevalent in Southeastern Ohio, and tariffs on imports. But he also said there is an attraction to Mr. Trump’s style, a phenomenon that has made his campaign something of a lifestyle brand in rural white communities.