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Bliss Institute

Basic Information on Ohio Politics #4

 

The 2010 U.S. Census revealed that there are 308 million people in United States, a growth rate of about 10 percent. Ohio, meanwhile, experienced a growth rate of 1.6 percent, far below the national average, but similar to the growth rates of previous decades.

We mention this because Ohio’s status as a perennial battleground state probably depends in large part because it has been for most of its history, a bellweather of national trends. As the U.S. population continues to migrate west and south, it is not clear how long Ohio’s central place will remain.

Migration patterns are one key for understanding political divisions and trends. Internal migration patterns may tell us a lot about why Ohio is competitive and provide some clues about where Ohio is going. When people move it speaks volumes about economic and social change and areas that gain population are often seen as embodying the future. Kevin Philips, for example, correctly predicted back in 1968 that the Republican Party’s future lay in the fast growing southern and western states.

To understand how this affects Ohio, we start by examining voting patterns across Ohio counties. One of the most important divisions between Ohio and the nation is between rural and urban areas, based in part on population density. In fact, some analysts believe this is the heart of the “red state, blue state” division, as red states are more rural and blue states have larger urban populations. Moreover, the pattern of life in a rural or urban setting exerts an independent effect on individuals’ social and political views.  As in many Midwestern states, much of Ohio’s political divisions can be traced to a fairly equal balance between urban and rural populations.

Ohio County Presidential Voting 1980-2008

 

Rank

GOP

Democrats

1

Putnam (69.12)

Cuyahoga (59.58)

2

Holmes (67.32)

Mahoning (58.79)

3

Warren (67.22)

Trumbull (56.75)

4

Auglaize (66.68)

Athens (55.57)

5

Hancock (65.68)

Lucas (54.85)

6

Union (65.56)

Belmont (54.76)

7

Clermont (64.84)

Monroe (54.32)

8

Mercer (63.79)

Jefferson (54.06)

9

Van Wert (63.76)

Summit (51.86)

10

Allen (63.41)

Lorain (50.67)

Percent of Ohio Population

6.16

31.02

Source: Ohio Secretary of State

Kasich and Strickland  Top 10 Counties

Rank

GOP

Votes

Percent

Democrats

1

Putnam (69.12)

 

 

Cuyahoga (59.58)

2

Holmes (67.32)

 

 

Mahoning (58.79)

3

Warren (67.22)

 

 

Trumbull (56.75)

4

Auglaize (66.68)

 

 

Athens (55.57)

5

Hancock (65.68)

 

 

Lucas (54.85)

6

Union (65.56)

 

 

Belmont (54.76)

7

Clermont (64.84)

 

 

Monroe (54.32)

8

Mercer (63.79)

 

 

Jefferson (54.06)

9

Van Wert (63.76)

 

 

Summit (51.86)

10

Allen (63.41)

 

 

Lorain (50.67)

Percent of Ohio Population

6.16

 

 

31.02

Characteristics of Fastest Growing Counties

 

Top 10 Fastest Growing

Rest of Ohio

Evangelical

27.8

25.0

White

 

96.2

84.0

Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

23.4

20.9

Poverty

6.1

10.7

Households with Income over $100,000

14.7

9.4

Source: U.S. Census, http://censtats.census.gov/usa/usa.shtml

 

 

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