The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Early exit polls show Obama-friendly electorate in Ohio

The electorate that showed up to vote today in Ohio appears similar to the one that delivered the state to President Obama in 2008 — if not slightly better for the incumbent.

Early exit polls show Obama with a strong favorable rating (55 percent) among those who have voted, while Romney is underwater (45 percent favorable versus 50 percent unfavorable).

The electorate is also slightly more liberal, more African American and slightly less evangelical than four years ago.

At the same time, the state is slightly less optimistic about the future of the economy than the nation as a whole and is more apt to say that the government does too many things than say it should do more to solve problems — a view more in line with Mitt Romney's campaign.

All of the numbers will change, of course, as later exit polls roll in. And Republicans like to think that their voters tend to show up to the polls later in the day.

But if Obama's favorable rating among voters remains much higher than Romney's, it's going to be difficult for Romney to win Ohio and, by extension, the presidency.