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Author Topic: What makes Ohio a bellwether?  (Read 1696 times)
old timey villain
cope1989
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« on: April 29, 2012, 02:13:29 am »
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What is it about the demographics of Ohio that make it so closely resemble the national vote in presidential elections? In a demographic sense, it doesn't mirror the nation very closely, as it's more heavily white. So what is it? Income? Urban/Suburban/Rural distribution? Industry?
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 08:21:28 am »
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What is it about the demographics of Ohio that make it so closely resemble the national vote in presidential elections? In a demographic sense, it doesn't mirror the nation very closely, as it's more heavily white. So what is it? Income? Urban/Suburban/Rural distribution? Industry?

Coincidence.
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 10:40:10 am »
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What is it about the demographics of Ohio that make it so closely resemble the national vote in presidential elections? In a demographic sense, it doesn't mirror the nation very closely, as it's more heavily white. So what is it? Income? Urban/Suburban/Rural distribution? Industry?
Coincidence.
Any coincidence consists of a number of elements that can be analysed. I hope somebody knowledgeable will take the trouble to do so.
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 02:54:53 pm »
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Ohio is a regional crossroads in the US, with Southwestern Ohio ranging from rural small town Midwestern areas to the three major cities/growing metros of Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus (though Columbus is also close to Central Ohio), most of this region being heavily Republican (though parts of Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus are pretty Democratic) as an original "heartland" of the GOP; Northwestern Ohio, which is part of the "Rust Belt" and has centers of manufacturing like Toledo that are heavily unionized and vote Democratic (though there are, again, many pockets of Republicanism in this region as well); Northeastern Ohio, which has Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, and other major "Rust Belt" areas that have undergone some population decline as well as revitalization and are heavily Dem; and Southeastern Ohio, which is close to West Virginia in geography as well as culture and whose heritage is conservative Democratic but has gotten more Republican as of late.

I think Ohio is a bellwether, partly because of coincidence and partly because it is essentially in the center of much of the "Old Yankee" United States (the Midwest and the Northeast) which, taken together, is the most populated region of the U.S. IIRC, Columbus is used by a lot of businesses doing research as some sort of a test market for products because of the population centers that surround it in a relatively short radius.
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 03:16:46 pm »
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Because Southern Ohio and Northern Ohio resemble the cultural divide of this country and it has correctly along with NM since 1976 correctly predicted the popular vote winner and electoral vote winner especially in that crazy 2000 election. NM predicted Al Gore the popular vote winner and OH predicted W the electoral college winner.
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 07:15:24 pm »
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I think the fact it has a lot of very swingy and non-polarized areas plays a big role (not that there aren't very polarized areas granted.)
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 11:21:12 pm »
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These things vary. In the late 1800s, Ohio was lean Republican while New York of all states was the bellwether.
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 12:56:15 am »
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What's kind of funny is despite winning the state Obama didn't do well in the bellwether portions of Ohio itself. Which kind of shows why using bellwethers to guess things is a folly.
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 01:03:05 am »
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What's kind of funny is despite winning the state Obama didn't do well in the bellwether portions of Ohio itself. Which kind of shows why using bellwethers to guess things is a folly.

That's not really true outside of the Southeast. Obama won almost all of the other bellweather parts of the state: Lake, Stark, Montgomery, Ottawa, and Hamilton Counties. The only remotely swingy county outside of the Southeast he lost was Clark, which is a bit of a stretch to call a bellweather anymore.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 09:48:57 pm »
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What's kind of funny is despite winning the state Obama didn't do well in the bellwether portions of Ohio itself. Which kind of shows why using bellwethers to guess things is a folly.

That's not really true outside of the Southeast. Obama won almost all of the other bellweather parts of the state: Lake, Stark, Montgomery, Ottawa, and Hamilton Counties. The only remotely swingy county outside of the Southeast he lost was Clark, which is a bit of a stretch to call a bellweather anymore.

The Southeast is kind of my point though, for a Democrat to win the state and not there is pretty unprecedented. Especially winning Hamilton County as well. I mean pre-2008 who would've been able to come up with a scenario where a Democrat wins Hamilton County and loses most of the Southeast.
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 10:41:07 pm »
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What's kind of funny is despite winning the state Obama didn't do well in the bellwether portions of Ohio itself. Which kind of shows why using bellwethers to guess things is a folly.

While it wasn't the largest swing in the state, the swing in a county the size of Franklin helped offset the lack of movement in some of the more traditional areas.
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 04:44:39 am »
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Imah let ya'll finish but Florida is the best swing state of all time. lmao
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 02:04:24 pm »
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These things vary. In the late 1800s, Ohio was lean Republican while New York of all states was the bellwether.

And my turn of the century timeline proves that. New York is a big electoral prize because of its reputation of being a swing state and its large amount of electoral votes.
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 02:09:05 pm »
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These things vary. In the late 1800s, Ohio was lean Republican while New York of all states was the bellwether.

And as late as 1988 Republicans made a serious effort in the state.
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 02:28:56 pm »
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These things vary. In the late 1800s, Ohio was lean Republican while New York of all states was the bellwether.

And as late as 1988 Republicans made a serious effort in the state.

I think Ronald Reagan kept New York competetive for an extra ten years.
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2012, 02:31:35 pm »
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Imah let ya'll finish but Florida is the best swing state of all time. lmao

ha, ok Kanye. Florida may be the new kid on the block, but it didn't really start becoming a swing state until 1992.
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2012, 02:46:27 pm »
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These things vary. In the late 1800s, Ohio was lean Republican while New York of all states was the bellwether.

And my turn of the century timeline proves that. New York is a big electoral prize because of its reputation of being a swing state and its large amount of electoral votes.

Today, it's kind of hilarious to think of New York as anything but a strong D state, but in fact it was a swing state for many many years. Throughout most of the 20th century, winning the state was always a fight, from the progressive era to the new deal era to the reagan era.

It reminds me of an episode of mad men I saw once. Don and Betty live in Westchester county, and in the episode they have a neighbor (Helen Bishop) who is canvassing for John F Kennedy, which everyone in the neighborhood thinks is strange. Betty at one point says, "I hate Helen Bishop and I hate that John Kennedy."

For most of the 20th century, NY state had a large base of suburban Republicans and an equally large base of minority and ethnic Democrats, making it competitive.

When the white suburban voters starting moving Dem in the 1990s, it turned NY into a solid blue state.
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Lowly Griff
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« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2012, 05:45:16 pm »
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Today, it's kind of hilarious to think of New York as anything but a strong D state, but in fact it was a swing state for many many years.

California, too. Who knows how much of an impact Reagan had on keeping it R (plus weak D candidates in the 1980s), but California went for Bush in 1988 and without Perot in 1992, might have went for Bush again.
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