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The Daily Need

The importance of Ohio

Barack Obama in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo: Christopher Dilts for Obama for America. Mitt Romney in Chillicothe, Ohio. Photo: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

This week, while covering the Republican National convention from Tampa, we focus on the state of Ohio and the critical win there either candidate most likely must receive to win the 2012 election. We’ve put together a primer on why this state has so much importance in 2012 and its history within national politics.

The demographics of Ohioans in many respects closely reflect that of the country as a whole. Criteria known to influence voting, such as age, race, or gender happen to be representative of national statistics within Ohio. Coupled with a large number of electoral college votes and a consistently evenly split voting electorate, Ohio leads the country in pundit and candidate interest alike.

Here are some things to know about Ohio and its potential effect on the 2012 election race:

    • From the election of 1904 through that of 2004, the candidate who won Ohio, won the presidency 24 out of 26 times.
    • In 2008, The Obama + Biden ticket won the state’s electoral college votes by 5 points.
    • The state is split nearly evenly between registered Democrats and Republicans, with a strong number of independent voters.
    • The “gender gap” plays a large role in Ohio presidential politics. As of this writing, polls indicate nearly an identical bump for Romney and Obama in men and women, respectively.
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