United States News Colorado No longer mirror of U.S., Ohio’s electoral bellwether quiets

No longer mirror of U.S., Ohio’s electoral bellwether quiets


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CINCINNATI — As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. That’s the way it had been in presidential elections for more than half a century, until this year, when Republican Donald Trump won a decisive victory in the state while losing the presidency to Democrat Joe Biden.

Biden becomes the first president elected without carrying Ohio since fellow Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1960. Trump’s statewide victory — his second, after carrying Ohio in 2016 — brings an end to Ohio’s role as a presidential bellwether and even puts its future as a battleground state in doubt.

“The bellwether has been unrung,” Mark Weaver, a veteran Republican strategist, says. “Ohio, like most states, changes over time, and those changes have political impacts.”

Ohio’s population no longer mirrors the nation. It’s whiter, slightly older and less educated than the U.S. on whole.

Roughly two-thirds of the state’s voters in this year’s election were ages 45 and older, including about a quarter who were 65 and up, according to AP VoteCast, a broad survey of the electorate. A majority of those older voters, 56%, supported Trump.

Heather Miller, 49, a registered Democrat who lives near Toledo, agonized over her decision. She liked how the economy was humming along during Trump’s first three years and was worried about taxes going up under a Biden administration.

“Part of me was so conflicted I almost didn’t come out and vote,” she said, later adding she decided at the last moment to vote for Biden.

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Mike Master, 64, a Columbus pipefitter, had no such hesitation. He said he would have voted this fall for Trump “twice if I could.”

Not only are Ohio’s voters getting older, those who stayed home on Election Day were predominantly young voters. Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot, 70% were under 45, according to VoteCast.

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The survey also showed the vast majority of Ohio voters were white. About two-thirds of white voters without a college degree voted for Trump.

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