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Report: Ohio hate group numbers fall

 
Report: Ohio hate group numbers fall
Posted Tuesday, February 25th 2014 @ 5pm  by WTVN Newsroom

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (WTVN) -- Ohio has 31 hate groups, according to a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. That's down from 36 a year earlier.

"I would not describe Ohio as a particular hotbed of these kinds of groups although it has its fair share," said Mark Potok, author of the "Year in Hate Report" for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Nationally, the SPLC found that the number of hate groups dropped by 7 percent - from 1,007 in 2012 to 939 in 2013. Hate groups reached a peak in 2011 with 1,018 groups. The biggest increase came with the election of President Obama in 2008.

President Obama's 2012 re-election, which the report says was unexpected by many on the right, appears to have drained energy from the movement. Other factors that apparently are contributing to the decline are an improving economy, crackdowns by law enforcement, and the adoption of far-right issues by mainstream politicians.

Ohio is in the middle of the road when it comes to the number of hate groups. Among neighboring states, Pennsylvania had the most with 41. Indiana was next with 26, Michigan had 18, Kentucky 15 and West Virginia 10.

Southwest Ohio seems to have the highest concentration of groups in the state. There's another grouping of groups in the Cleveland area.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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