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Electoral College Analysis: Ohio

Ohio's Electoral Votes: 20

Washington Post Analysis

Ohio has been ground zero of Campaign 2004 since Kerry wrapped up the Democratic nomination, swarmed over by the candidates, bombarded by television ads, and blanketed by organizers for both campaigns and America Coming Together (ACT), the Democratic 527 group. It also is critical to Kerry's hopes of winning the White House. Four years ago, Gore pulled out of Ohio weeks before the election to concentrate on Florida, only to lose by a surprisingly small three-point margin.

In the intervening four years, Ohio's job losses (230,000) have exceeded Bush's 2000 victory margin (167,000 votes). Kerry has made the economy the heart of his argument for change and seized on the Timken Co.'s decision to close three plants around Canton as evidence that Bush's policies have failed. The president stayed out of the state for almost three weeks, leading some Democrats to believe he had given up on Ohio, but in the closing days both he and Kerry are hopscotching through the state with celebrities -- Kerry with rocker Bruce Springsteen and the president along side California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Kerry appeared to be gaining momentum in the middle of last week, but a Cleveland Plain Dealer poll Friday gave Bush a narrow lead.

Voter registration is up almost 1 million voters in the state, and with it has come a series of pre-election disputes. Republicans are warning of fraud by Democratic registration groups, while Democrats are accusing the GOP of trying to suppress turnout in Cleveland and in minority communities. The state's provisional ballot law could tie up counting well beyond Tuesday, if the outcome from the day's tally is close or in dispute. Democrats are depending on a massive ground game to carry the day for Kerry.

Sen. George V. Voinovich (R) is coasting toward reelection, and an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative, despite opposition from Voinovich, Sen. Mike DeWine (R), Gov. Bob Taft (R) and many businesses, appears headed for victory.

Overview
Bush, Kerry in Reach of Electoral Win
By David S. Broder, Dan Balz and Charles Babington
(The Washington Post, Oct. 31, 2004)

Recent Polls

Source: Reuters/Zogby
Respondents: 602 likely voters
Time: Oct. 29 - Nov. 1
Margin of Error: +/- 4.1%

Bush 49%
Kerry 43%
Other 3%
Undecided 5%

Source: University of Cincinnati
Respondents: 877 likely voters
Time: Oct. 27 - 31
Margin of Error: +/- 3.5%

Bush 50%
Kerry 49%
Undecided 1%

Source: CNN-USA Today-Gallup
Respondents: 1,111 likely voters
Time: Oct. 28 - 31
Margin of Error: +/- 3%

Kerry 50%
Bush 46%
Undecided 4%

Source: MSNBC-Knight Ridder (by Mason-Dixon)
Respondents: 625 likely voters
Time: Oct. 26 - 29
Margin of Error: +/- 4%

Bush 48%
Kerry 46%
Other/Undecided 6%

Source: The Columbus Dispatch
Respondents: 2,880 registered voters
Time: Oct. 20 - 29
Margin of Error: +/- 2%

Bush 50%
Kerry 50%

Source: The Plain Dealer (by Mason-Dixon)
Respondents: 1,500 likely voters
Time: Oct. 26 - 28
Margin of Error: +/- 2.5%

Bush 48%
Kerry 45%
Other/Undecided 7%

Source: Los Angeles Times
Respondents: 585 likely voters
Time: Oct. 22 - 26
Margin of Error: +/- 4%

Kerry 50%
Bush 44%
Undecided 6%

Source: American Research Group
Respondents: 600 likely voters
Time: Oct. 23 - 25
Margin of Error: +/- 4%

Kerry 49%
Bush 47%
Undecided 4%

Is Nader on the ballot: No

Past Presidential Vote Breakdowns

2000
Bush (R): 50%
Gore (D): 47%

1996
Clinton (D): 47%
Dole (R): 41%

1992
Clinton (D): 40%
Bush (R): 38%
Perot (I): 21%

1988
Bush (R): 55%
Dukakis (D): 44%

Current Elected Officials

name (party), year last elected, percent won

Governor:
Bob Taft (R), 2002, 58%

Senators:
Mike DeWine (R), 2000, 60%
George V. Voinovich (R), 1998, 56%

House:
12 Republicans
6 Democrats

More on Ohio

Battlegrounds: Ohio and Jobs
Seeking a Candidate to Defend Financial Future, Way of Life (washingtonpost.com article and video)

Judge Rebuffs GOP Effort to Contest Voters in Ohio (The Washington Post, Oct. 28, 2004)

In Fierce Contest for Ohio Vote, Secretary of State Feels Scrutiny (The Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2004)

Post Series: Swing State - The Battle for Ohio
Toledo Tube War: 14,273 Ads and Counting (The Washington Post, October 11, 2004)

Some Fear Ohio Will Be Florida of 2004 (The Washington Post, Monday, October 26, 2004)

Ohio City Bombarded With More Political Spots Than Any Other U.S. Market (The Washington Post, Monday, October 4, 2004)

Jobs Loss May Affect Who Wins The Vote (The Washington Post, June 1, 2004)

In Ohio, Building a Political Echo (The Washington Post, May 12, 2004)

Taking the Campaign to the People, One Doorstep at a Time (The Washington Post, April 18, 2004)

More From the University of Cincinnati Poll (PDF from uc.edu)

All Ohio Races

Discuss the Race to Win Ohio

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