Presidential Election of 2008 Ohio Primary - History

Presidential Election of 2008 Ohio Primary - History

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Results of the Ohio Primary March 4, 2008












File:Ohio Presidential Election Results 2008.svg

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Primary election systems used in Ohio

Congressional and state-level elections

In 22 states, at least one political party utilizes open primaries to nominate partisan candidates for congressional and state-level (e.g. state legislators, governors, etc.) offices. In 15 states, at least one party utilizes closed primaries to nominate partisan candidates for these offices. In 14 states, at least one party utilizes semi-closed primaries. In two (California and Washington), top-two primaries are utilized. Ε]

Ohio law provides for open primaries, meaning voters do not have to register with a party to participate in its primary. Voters select the ballot of the party whose primary they wish to vote in at the polling place. Winners in Ohio primary elections are determined via plurality vote, meaning that the candidate with the highest number of votes wins even if he or she did not win an outright majority of votes cast. Ώ] ΐ] Ζ] Η]

The table below lists Ohio offices for which parties must conduct primary elections to nominate their candidates.

Elective offices for which parties must conduct primaries to nominate general election candidates
Office Number of seats
Governor of Ohio 1
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio 1
Ohio State Auditor 1
Attorney General of Ohio 1
Ohio Secretary of State 1
Ohio Treasurer 1
State legislators 132
Ohio state judges 76
United States Senators 2
United States Representatives 16
Local officials Varies by municipality

2008 Presidential Primary Calendar

The first votes of the 2008 Presidential Election will be cast on January 3rd in Iowa, followed by New Hampshire on January 8th. These two states have led the nation’s nominating contests over the past several decades and this year has not been an exception with many campaigns focus on the first two elections.

Other early primaries, including Florida and Michigan, have been frequent stops on the campaign trail with candidates hoping to pick up early wins heading into Super Tuesday. More than 20 states are holding their primary election on Super Tuesday, February 5th. Over 40 percent of each parties delegates will be chosen on this date, including California and New York.

2008 Presidential Primary Calendar Map from

Democratic primary and caucus schedule

  • January 2008
    • 3 – Iowa caucus
    • 8 – New Hampshire Primary
    • 15 – Michigan
    • 19 – Nevada caucus
    • 26 – South Carolina Primary
    • 29 – Florida Primary
    • Super Tuesday – February 5th
      Alabama, Alaska caucus, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado caucus, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho caucus, Illinois, Kansas caucus, Massachusetts, Minnesota caucus, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico caucus, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah
    • 9 – Louisiana, Nebraska caucus, Washington caucus
    • 10 – Maine caucus
    • 12 – D.C., Maryland, Virginia
    • 19 – Hawaii, Wisconsin
    • 4 – Ohio, Vermont, Texas
    • 8 – Wyoming
    • 11 – Mississippi
    • April 22 – Pennsylvania
    • May 6 – Indiana, North Carolina
    • May 13 – West Virginia
    • May 20 – Kentucky, Oregon
    • June 1 – Puerto Rico
    • June 3 – Montana, South Dakota

    Republican primary and caucus schedule

    • January 2008
      • 3 – Iowa
      • 5 – Wyoming Republican Convention
      • 8 – New Hampshire Primary
      • 15 – Michigan
      • 19 – Nevada, South Carolina
      • 29 – Florida
      • 1 – Maine
      • Super Tuesday – February 5thAlabama, Alaska , Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah
      • 9 – Louisiana, Kansas, Washington (18 of 40)
      • 12 – D.C., Maryland, Virginia
      • 19 – Wisconsin, Washington (19 of 40)
      • March 4 – Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas
      • March 11 – Mississippi
      • April 22 – Pennsylvania
      • May 6 – Indiana, North Carolina
      • May 13 – West Virginia, Nebraska
      • May 17 – Maine
      • May 20 – Kentucky, Oregon
      • May 27 – Idaho
      • June 3 – South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico
      • June 6 – Hawaii
      • June 28 – Nebraska

      Primary Maps and News from The New York Times:

      LA Times 2008 Election Coverage

      After the Primaries

      * August 25 to August 28, 2008 – 2008 Democratic National Convention, in Denver.
      * September 1 to September 4, 2008 – 2008 Republican National Convention, held in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
      * November 6, 2008 – Election Day.
      * December 15, 2008 – Members of the U.S. Electoral College meet in each state to cast their votes for President.
      * January 6, 2009 – Electoral votes officially tallied before both Houses of Congress.
      * January 20, 2009 – Inauguration Day. A New Beginning for our nation.

      2016 election: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

      2008 Ohio presidential election results Barack Obama defeats John McCain (photo gallery)

      CLEVELAND, Ohio - Barack Obama carried Ohio, in large part by sweeping the state's largest counties, in defeating John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

      Obama's win marked the 12th straight time that the winner of Ohio also won the national election.

      Obama won each of Ohio's six largest counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Montgomery and Summit. His strongest showing was in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland. Obama won 68.9 percent of the Cuyahoga vote.

      Overall, Obama won 51.5 percent to McCain's 46.9 percent.

      Results by county

      Scroll over the map to see the vote in each county of Ohio.

      The darker shades on the map are counties won by at least 20 percentage points. Counties shown in red voted Republican blue counties voted Democrat.

      This is part of a series detailing presidential election history in Ohio. See results for 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2012 at these links.

      The counties shaded in below were won by Obama.

      CountyMcCain (R)Pct.Obama (D)Pct
      Adams 6,914 60.7% 4,170 36.6%
      Allen 29,940 59.6% 19,522 38.8%
      Ashland 15,158 60.2% 9,300 37.0%
      Ashtabula 18,949 42.2% 25,027 55.8%
      Athens 9,742 31.3% 20,722 66.6%
      Auglaize 16,414 69.8% 6,738 28.7%
      Belmont 15,422 47.6% 16,302 50.3%
      Brown 12,192 60.6% 7,503 37.3%
      Butler 105,341 60.6% 66,030 38.0%
      Carroll 7,097 50.9% 6,423 46.0%
      Champaign 11,141 59.0% 7,385 39.1%
      Clark 33,634 50.4% 31,958 47.9%
      Clermont 62,559 65.5% 31,611 33.1%
      Clinton 12,409 64.3% 6,558 34.0%
      Columbiana 25,585 52.8% 21,882 45.1%
      Coshocton 8,675 51.4% 7,689 45.6%
      Crawford 12,316 58.2% 8,289 39.1%
      Cuyahoga 199,880 30.0% 458,422 68.9%
      Darke 17,290 67.0% 7,964 30.9%
      Defiance 10,407 54.2% 8,399 43.8%
      Delaware 54,778 59.3% 36,653 39.7%
      Erie 17,432 42.3% 23,148 56.1%
      Fairfield 41,580 57.8% 29,250 40.7%
      Fayette 7,102 60.7% 4,401 37.6%
      Franklin 218,486 39.0% 334,709 59.7%
      Fulton 11,689 53.2% 9,900 45.1%
      Gallia 8,247 61.9% 4,777 35.9%
      Geauga 29,096 56.9% 21,250 41.6%
      Greene 48,936 58.5% 33,540 40.1%
      Guernsey 9,197 53.1% 7,625 44.0%
      Hamilton 195,530 46.0% 225,213 53.0%
      Hancock 22,420 60.6% 13,870 37.5%
      Hardin 7,749 59.1% 5,013 38.2%
      Harrison 3,872 49.7% 3,683 47.3%
      Henry 8,239 55.5% 6,320 42.6%
      Highland 11,907 62.1% 6,856 35.7%
      Hocking 6,364 49.1% 6,259 48.3%
      Holmes 7,720 69.5% 3,141 28.3%
      Huron 12,884 50.4% 12,076 47.2%
      Jackson 8,219 58.7% 5,397 38.6%
      Jefferson 17,559 48.9% 17,635 49.1%
      Knox 16,640 58.9% 11,014 39.0%
      Lake 59,142 48.7% 60,155 49.6%
      Lawrence 15,415 56.7% 11,262 41.4%
      Licking 46,918 57.0% 33,932 41.2%
      Logan 13,848 62.3% 7,936 35.7%
      Lorain 59,068 40.2% 85,276 58.1%
      Lucas 73,706 33.5% 142,852 65.0%
      Madison 10,606 60.8% 6,532 37.4%
      Mahoning 45,319 35.6% 79,173 62.2%
      Marion 15,454 53.3% 12,870 44.4%
      Medina 48,189 53.3% 40,924 45.2%
      Meigs 6,015 58.1% 4,094 39.5%
      Mercer 15,100 71.0% 5,853 27.5%
      Miami 33,417 63.3% 18,372 34.8%
      Monroe 3,066 43.9% 3,705 53.1%
      Montgomery 128,679 46.2% 145,997 52.4%
      Morgan 3,440 52.1% 2,966 44.9%
      Morrow 10,067 60.5% 6,177 37.1%
      Muskingum 20,549 52.6% 17,730 45.4%
      Noble 3,450 55.9% 2,474 40.1%
      Ottawa 10,624 46.0% 12,064 52.2%
      Paulding 5,317 54.4% 4,165 42.6%
      Perry 7,721 50.1% 7,261 47.1%
      Pickaway 14,228 60.0% 9,077 38.3%
      Pike 6,162 49.3% 6,033 48.2%
      Portage 34,822 44.5% 41,856 53.5%
      Preble 13,562 64.6% 6,999 33.3%
      Putnam 13,072 70.0% 5,281 28.3%
      Richland 34,034 55.7% 25,727 42.1%
      Ross 16,759 52.6% 14,455 45.4%
      Sandusky 14,192 46.7% 15,602 51.4%
      Scioto 16,994 52.2% 14,926 45.8%
      Seneca 13,823 50.4% 13,087 47.7%
      Shelby 15,924 67.3% 7,316 30.9%
      Stark 86,743 46.3% 96,990 51.7%
      Summit 113,284 40.8% 160,858 57.9%
      Trumbull 40,164 37.6% 64,145 60.0%
      Tuscarawas 20,454 47.6% 21,498 50.1%
      Union 15,744 63.2% 8,761 35.1%
      Van Wert 9,168 62.6% 5,178 35.3%
      Vinton 3,021 53.5% 2,463 43.6%
      Warren 71,691 67.5% 33,398 31.4%
      Washington 17,019 56.9% 12,368 41.3%
      Wayne 29,342 56.3% 21,712 41.6%
      Williams 9,879 53.7% 8,174 44.4%
      Wood 29,648 45.6% 34,285 52.7%
      Wyandot 6,270 57.1% 4,461 40.6%
      Total 2,677,820 46.9% 2,940,044 51.5%

      Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

      Obama Wins Election

      Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday, sweeping away the last racial barrier in American politics with ease as the country chose him as its first black chief executive.

      Mr. Obama’s election amounted to a national catharsis — a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, and an embrace of Mr. Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of the country. But it was just as much a strikingly symbolic moment in the evolution of the nation’s fraught racial history, a breakthrough that would have seemed unthinkable just two years ago.

      Mr. Obama, 47, a first-term Democratic senator from Illinois, defeated Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, a former prisoner of war who was making his second bid for the presidency.

      Mr. McCain offered a gracious concession speech at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix shortly after 11:15 p.m. Eastern time, quieting his booing supporters more than once when he mentioned Mr. Obama’s name. “Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself, and for his country,” he said, adding that he was sorry that Mr. Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who helped raise him during his teenage years, had not lived to see the day she died on Sunday.

      “These are difficult times for our country, and I pledged to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face,” Mr. McCain said. “I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our goodwill and earnest effort to find ways to come together.”

      To the very end, Mr. McCain’s campaign was eclipsed by an opponent who was nothing short of a phenomenon, drawing huge crowds epitomized by the tens of thousands of people who turned out to hear Mr. Obama’s victory speech in Grant Park in Chicago.

      Mr. McCain also fought the headwinds of a relentlessly hostile political environment, weighted down with the baggage left to him by President Bush and an economic collapse that took place in the middle of the general election campaign.

      The day shimmered with history as voters began lining up before dark — hours before polls opened — to take part in the culmination of a campaign that, over the course of two years, commanded an extraordinary amount of attention from the American public.

      As the returns became known, and Mr. Obama passed milestone after milestone, winning Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Iowa and New Mexico — many Americans rolled into the streets to celebrate what many described, with perhaps overstated if understandable exhilaration, a new era in a country where just 143 years ago, Mr. Obama, as a black man, could have been owned as a slave.

      For Republicans, especially the conservatives who have dominated the party for nearly three decades, the night represented a bitter setback and left them contemplating where they now stand in American politics.

      Mr. Obama led his party in a decisive sweep of Congress, putting Democrats in control of both the House and the Senate — by overwhelming numbers — and the White House for the first time since 1995, when Bill Clinton was president. The president-elect and his expanded Democratic majority now faces the task of governing the country through a difficult period: the likelihood of a deep and prolonged recession.

      The roster of defeated Republicans included some notable party moderates — including Senator John Sununu of New Hampshire and Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut— signaling that the Republican conference that convenes in Washington next January will not only be smaller, but more conservative.

      Mr. Obama will come into office after an election in which he laid out a number of clear promises: to cut taxes for most Americans, to get the United States out of Iraq in a fast ifand? orderly fashion, and to expand health care. In a recognition of the difficult transition he faces, given the economic crisis, Mr. Obama is expected to begin filling White House jobs as early as this week.

      The Democratic sweep took down some well-known Republican senators, including Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and John E. Sununu of New Hampshire. But Democrats failed to achieve the 60-seat majority required to prevent Republican filibusters.

      Mr. Obama defeated Mr. McCain in Ohio, a central battleground in American politics, despite a huge effort that brought Mr. McCain and his running-mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, back there repeatedly. Ohio was a state Mr. Obama lost decisively to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York in the Democratic primary.

      Mr. McCain failed to take from Mr. Obama the two Democratic states that were at the top of his target list: New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. And in addition to Ohio, Democrats captured two other Republican states, Iowa and New Mexico.

      Mr. Obama comes into office with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, his vice-presidential running mate. Even before the final results were called, there were indications that Mr. McCain’s advisers were in fact unhappy with their vice-presidential candidate, Ms. Palin, who was announced by Mr. McCain to an explosion of enthusiasm and interest by conservatives and since caused a series of embarrassments for Mr. McCain.

      Mr. McCain’s chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, demurred when asked whether he thought in was happy with Ms. Palin’s performance. “I’m not going to go there,” Mr. Schmidt said. “There’ll be time for the post-mortems in the race.”

      Initial signs were that Mr. Obama benefited from a huge turnout of voters, but particularly among blacks. That group of voters made up 13 percent of the electorate on Tuesday, according to surveys of people leaving the polls, compared with 11 percent in 2006. In North Carolina, Republicans said that the huge surge of African-Americans was one of the big factors that lead to Mrs. Dole’s loss.

      Mr. Obama also did strikingly well among Hispanic voters, beating Mr. McCain did far less better among those voters than Mr. Bush did in 2004, suggesting the damage the Republican Party has suffered among those voters over four years in which Republicans have been at the forefront on the effort to crack down on illegal immigrants

      As thousands of people gathered in downtown Chicago to celebrate their hometown candidate, the audience erupted in bursts of applause each time a state was called for Mr. Obama. The party took on the air of a drive-in movie theater, with his supporters remaining eerily quiet until a new development flashed across giant television screens. A thundering roar sounded when the roll call of projected Democratic victories suddenly included Ohio.

      Senator Barack Obama stood on the brink of an historic victory Tuesday after he appeared to have won enough electoral votes to defeat Senator John McCain for president and to become the first African-American to serve as the nation’s chief executive.

      Mr. Obama won Ohio, a key battleground in American presidential politics, and held off assaults by Mr. McCain in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, the top two states that Democrats won in 2004 that Mr. McCain had fought to take back.

      The exit polls found that a broad majority of voters considered the economy to be the most important issue facing the nation. And Mr. Obama was viewed as much more qualified than Mr.McCain to deal with that issue.

      Blacks made up 13 percent of the total electorate, up from 11 percent last time, the polls showed. More than 95 percent of them said they had voted for Mr. Obama, an African-American.

      Mr. Obama was also winning overwhelmingly among Latino voters. Mr. McCain was faring much poorer among those voters compared with how President Bush performed in 2004, suggesting a long-term problem for the Republican Party with a rapidly growing demographic group.

      Mr. Obama held on to the two top Democratic states that Mr. McCain had targeted to win back, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

      Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain were in their home states late Tuesday, awaiting final results. Tens of thousands of Mr. Obama’s supporters gathered in Grant Park in his hometown, Chicago, to greet him. Mr. McCain was planning to address supporters at a ballroom in the elegant Biltmore Hotel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Phoenix.

      In what was shaping up as a good night for the Democratic Party, its candidates knocked off Republican senators in New Hampshire and North Carolina, while picking up an open Senate seat in Virginia with the victory of Mark R. Warner, a former governor, to succeed John W. Warner, a Republican who is retiring.

      Senator John E. Sununu of New Hampshire was ousted by former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, while Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina was beaten by a Democratic state lawmaker, Kay R. Hagan.

      Reflecting Mr. Obama’s ability to draw new voters to his side, 70 percent of people voting for the first time said they had backed him. A similar percentage of voters under 30 years old also supported him.

      The only age group that went for Mr. McCain, who is 72, were voters 65 and older, according to the exit polls conducted by Edison/Mitofsky.

      One in eight respondents said that age was an important factor in their vote of those, three quarters voted for Mr. Obama.

      The election ended what by any definition was one of the most remarkable contests in American political history, drawing what was by every appearance unparalleled public interest. Throughout the day, people lined up at the polls for hours — some showing up before dawn — to cast their votes. Aides to both campaigns said that anecdotal evidence suggested record-high voter turnout.

      Reflecting the intensity of the two candidates, Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama took a page from what Mr. Bushfull first reference to President Bush did in 2004 and continued to campaign after the polls opened.

      Mr. McCain left his home in Arizona after voting early Tuesday to fly to Colorado and New Mexico, two states where Mr. Bush won four years ago but where Mr. Obama waged a spirited battle. These were symbolically appropriate final campaign stops for Mr. McCain, reflecting the imperative he felt of trying to defend Republican states against a challenge from Mr. Obama.

      “Get out there and vote,” Mr. McCain said in Grand Junction, Colo. “I need your help. Volunteer, knock on doors, get your neighbors to the polls, drag ‘em there if you need to.”

      By contrast, Mr. Obama flew from his home in Chicago to Indiana, a state that in many ways came to epitomize the audacity of his effort this year. Indiana for a Democrat since President Lyndon B. Johnson’s landslide victory in 1964, and Mr. Obama made an intense bid for support there. He later returned home to Chicago play basketball, his election-day ritual.

      Mr. Obama cast his ballot at 7:36 a.m., Central time, at the Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School in Chicago, accompanied by his wife, Michelle. “I noticed that Michelle took a long time though,” he said afterwards. “I had to check to see who she was voting for.”

      Mr. McCain voted later, at 9:08 a.m., Mountain time, at the Albright United Methodist Church in Phoenix. He and his wife, Cindy, were greeted there by supporters with cheers of “Senator McCain” and “Thank you, senator.”

      The nation’s faltering economy seemed to weigh in voters’ minds: A survey of voters leaving polling places found that 6 in 10 said this was their dominant concern, a reflection of the economic collapse that provided the backdrop for the general election contest.

      Six in 10 voters said the economy was their top concern. In a sign of how much the terrain of this election changed since Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain started campaigning in their party caucuses and primaries more than a year ago, only 1 in 10 cited the war in Iraq.

      The first exit polls suggested a spike in voting among blacks that had been a source of concern among Republicans: 13 percent of the electorate, compared with 11 percent in 2004.

      Across the country — in Florida, Georgia, New York and North Carolina, to name a few places — polling stations reported overflow crowds, with long waits and packed parking lots. Mr. McCain’s advisers had predicted that 130 million people would vote, compared with 123.5 million who cast ballots four years ago, reflecting the intense interest in the race.

      Mr. Obama waged in many ways an improbable campaign. He is a first-term United States senator from Illinois who just five years ago was serving as a state senator. It was because of that résumé that his main opponent in the battle for the Democratic nomination, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, thought that he would not last.

      But Mr. Obama proved to be a phenomenal campaigner, drawing huge and excited crowds and defeating Mrs. Clinton in Iowa, an overwhelmingly white state. That outcome, more than any other single vote, signaled to Democratic leaders the potency of the Obama appeal. But the two candidates battled through the very last primary battle in June before Mrs. Clinton, bowing to the inevitable, pulled out of the race.

      Mr. McCain also won his party’s nomination improbably after he had, a year ago, appeared doomed when his campaign ran out of money. He persevered through a combination of scrappiness and a field of primary opponents who each had problems with the fractured Republican electorate.

      In his campaign, Mr. Obama offered some fairly ambitious promises, including tax cuts for most Americans, a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and an expansion of health care coverage. Mr. McCain pledged not to leave Iraq without a victory and promised to continue Mr. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

      Early exit polls suggested that Mr. Obama was receiving the support of half of men. If that continued, he would be the first Democratic candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976 to do so. Seven in 10 voters under 30 backed Mr. Obama, and voters over 65 supported Mr. McCain.

      Presidential Election of 2008 Ohio Primary - History

      State Highlights

      Senator Barack Obama's sweeping get-out-the-vote effort in Ohio helped Democrats win two Congressional seats long held by Republicans, and seize control of the Ohio House for the first time since 1994.

      About twice as many Ohioans said, after voting, that they had been contacted by an Obama volunteer urging their vote as said they had been contacted by a McCain supporter. That advantage helped Mr. Obama win Ohio's electoral votes, which went to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

      An Ohio Republican leader said Mr. Obama's voter turnout organization had played a powerful role as Democrats picked up at least five seats in the 99-member Ohio House, gaining a majority.

      "In some of our seats it was too much to overcome," said State Representative Matthew J. Dolan, chairman of Ohio's House Republican Campaign Committee. Republicans held on to their 21-12 edge in the Ohio Senate.

      Democrats had hoped to pick up as many as four seats in Ohio's 18-member Congressional delegation, where Republicans have held an 11-7 advantage, partly because three Republican incumbents are retiring. But Republicans kept two of those open seats, and the delegation will be split, 9-9.

      The Democrats gained one Congressional seat in Cincinnati, where State Representative Steven Driehaus, a fiscally conservative Democrat, defeated Steve Chabot, an eight-term Republican who was a prosecutor during President Clinton's impeachment.

      The other Democratic gain came in the district that includes Canton and has been represented since 1973 by Ralph Regula, who is retiring. There, State Senator John Boccieri, an Iraq veteran, defeated State Senator Kirk Schuring. SAM DILLON

      Early voting historically is used little in Ohio primaries

      CLEVELAND, Ohio - Early voting began Wednesday. But chances are that even if you are looking forward to having a say in the Ohio Democratic Primary for president, you’re not thinking much about pulling an absentee ballot ahead of the March 17 election.

      Historically, far fewer people vote absentee in the primary than the general election, whether it be when Republicans or Democrats have multiple candidates from which to choose. This year, it’s a Democratic only-issue for president, as President Donald Trump is unopposed in Ohio’s Republican primary.

      Four years ago, just 14% of the primary ballots cast were done so absentee, well short of the 34% of the ballots cast absentee in the general election. Plus, far more people vote in general elections than the primaries.

      It’s a trend that has been fairly consistent since Ohio changed the law beginning with the 2006 primary to permit absentee voting even for those people in-town and able to go to the polls on election day.

      In the primary elections from 2012 through 2018, absentee ballots accounted for 14% to 17% of the vote each time - or about half of the share for absentee ballots in the general elections.

      The highest shares occur when interest is highest - general elections in presidential years. In 2012, 33% voted absentee as Barack Obama was re-elected. And four years ago in Trump’s victory, 30% of the Ohio ballots were cast absentee.

      Additionally, just a slice of the fall electorate bothers to vote in the primaries - in-person or absentee.

      * 5.6 million to 5.8 million Ohio votes were cast in each of the last three presidential elections in the fall, yet during those same years the primary turnout ranged from 2 million to 3.6 million. The low among these of 2 million occurred in 2012 when the Democratic nominee (incumbent Obama) was clear, much like it is for Trump this year.

      * During the off-year elections of 2010, 2014 and 2018, the general election turnout ranged from 3.1 million to 4.5 million, while the primary turnout ranged from 1.3 million to 1.8 million.

      Voter participation in Ohio primaries and general elections from 2006 through 2018. Rich Exner,

      In other words, if history holds true, only a small slice of Ohioans will vote on which candidate the Democrats prefer to run against Trump this fall.

      Ohio Democratic primary turnout in the last three presidential election years (and the Ohio winner each time) was 1,259,754 in 2016 (Hillary Clinton), 656,875 in 2012 (Obama), 2,386,945 in 2008 (Clinton).

      For the Republican primary, total votes cast were 2,014,396 in 2016 (John Kasich), 1,239,286 in 2012 (Mitt Romney), and 1,136,668 in 2008 (John McCain). Small numbers vote in the primaries for other parties, or only on issues as independents.

      Rich Exner, data analysis editor for, writes about numbers on a variety of topics. Follow on Twitter @RichExner . Find other data-related stories at

      In-person voting takes place at county board of elections offices on weekdays through the election, the last two Saturdays before the election and on the Sunday before the election.

      Requests to receive an absentee ballot may be made by mailing in a form. These links have English and Spanish versions.

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      Watch the video: Election Night 2020 - Highlights: All State Calls u0026 Projections MSNBC


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