One of the best blogs for a technical analysis of the the election is Jay Cost's Horse Race Blog He is starting a series on the swing states. The first is on Ohio. In part one he reviews the electoral history of Ohio. The state has had stable electoral patterns for the last forty years and reflects the national pattern.
This chart shows the “Partisanship Swing” for the state based on the last twenty years. If the pattern shifts red or blue that is the way the state and perhapps the country will go.
In part two he reviews this years election and the opportunities and problems for both candidates. He points out:
What To Watch in the Buckeye State
(1) If the national vote is close, expect Ohio to be close. It's a bellwether.
(2) Watch the mid-sized cities. They tend to vote with the winner. If Canton, Dayton, Springfield, and metro Toldeo go for the same candidate - he'll have the edge.
(3) Watch Franklin County (Columbus). If recent history is any guide, it will go for Obama. The question is by how much.
(4) Watch the exurbs. Obama promises to appeal to Republicans. These Republicans here are probably his best bet. McCain should still win the exurban counties of Cincinnati and Columbus, but Obama will be in good shape if he can turn them pink.
(5) Watch the eastern border. There are lots of "working class whites" here, the ones Obama had trouble with in the primaries. But it's not the strong Democrats he needs to worry about. It's the swing voters. If they vote McCain, these counties will be a lighter shade of blue than what Obama needs.
(6) Watch the south. It voted heavily for Clinton in the primary. The bigger the margins, the better for the GOP. and there are good reasons to expect it to support McCain
(7) Watch Hamilton County (Cincinnati). Obama promises game-changing GOTV efforts. If he delivers, the first sign of success should be here. Traditionally, Hamilton County votes Republican, but just barely (and by steadily decreasing margins over the years). If Obama amplifies African American turnout enough to flip it, that's a sign that his plan's on track.
All of which is interesting since Rasmussen’s Balance of Power Calculator moved Ohio’s twenty electoral votes form "Leans Deocratic" to “toss Up” on the July 22d, even so Obama, including leaners, has more than the required 270 electoral votes.
6 months ago