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Why Red States Turned Blue in 2008 - Ohio

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Why Red States Turned Blue in 2008 - Ohio

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden speaks as his wife Jill looks on during a campaign rally at Copley High School November 3, 2008 in Copley, Ohio.

Photo: Getty Images/J.D. Pooley
Democrat Barack Obama handily won the '08 presidential election in Ohio over Republican John McCain by a margin of 51% (2,708,988 votes) to 47% (2,502,218 votes).

Since 1892, Ohioans have voted for all presidential election victors except in 1944, for Republican Thomas Dewey, and in 1960, for Republican Richard Nixon. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning in Ohio.

Main reasons for Obama's victory in Ohio include:

Voters under 65 - Simply put, Obama's plans of economic relief for middle-class Americans resonated strongly with voters of working age (under age 65), who comprise 83% of Ohio voters. Per MSNBC exit polls, Obama won:

  • 71% of Ohio voters age 18 to 29
  • 51% of Ohio voters age 30 to 44
  • 53% of Ohio voters age 45 to 64

A full 56% of families making less than $100,000 annually, representing 79% of all Ohio voters, voted for Barack Obama.

Urban Voters - Per the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Obama "employed more paid workers and volunteers than any Democratic campaign in (Ohio) state history" to implement a massive Get-Out-The-Vote push in the populous cities and college towns of Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo.... all cities and county areas that Obama won.

As a result, Ohio pundits credit "the Obama campaign for pulling together young voters, black voters and people with graduate and post-graduate degrees" to carry it to victory in the Buckeye state.

Disapproval of the Iraq War - One striking factor in MSNBC's Ohio exit polls was the Iraq War: Of the 64% of Ohio voters said that they "disapprove of the U.S. War in Iraq," 74% supported Obama for president.

John McCain, of course, was and continues to be a major supporter of the Iraq War, refusing, even in 2008, to set a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. combat forces.

As of early November 2008, 172 military members from Ohio have lost their lives in Iraq, representing about 5% of total U.S. casualties.

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