Politics of Ohio
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Historically control of Ohio has oscillated between the two major parties. Republicans outnumber Democrats in Ohio government. The governor, John Kasich, is a Republican, as are all other non-judicial statewide elected officials: Lieutenant Governor of Ohio Mary Taylor, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost, Ohio Secretary of State Jon A. Husted, and Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel.
In the Ohio State Senate the Republicans have firm control (23-10), and in the Ohio House of Representatives, the Republicans control the delegation (59-40). The Ohio Congressional Delegation is mostly Republican as well. Thirteen representatives are Republicans, while five are Democrats. One U.S. senator, Rob Portman, is a Republican, while the other, Sherrod Brown, is a Democrat. Most of the mayors of the ten largest cities in the state (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Youngstown, Canton, Parma, Lorain) are Democrats. Daytons mayor Gary Leitzell is an independent according to his Bio and Wikipedia page. Toledo's mayor Michael Bell is also an independent.
Due to a close split in party registration and historical electoral importance, Ohio was considered a key battleground state in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election. The state was vital to President George W. Bush's election chances, as it is a state he won by nearly 4 points in 2000 and by the fact that no Republican has ever been elected President without winning Ohio (Coffey et al. 2011). In the election, Bush won the state with 51% of the vote, giving him its 20 electoral votes and the margin he needed in the Electoral College for re-election. Since Republicans started winning elections, it has voted with the winning candidate except for Grover Cleveland (in both 1884 and 1892), Franklin D Roosevelt in 1944 and John F Kennedy in 1960.
In addition, Ohio's electoral vote total has been declining for decades. For the 2012 election, it had 18 electoral votes, down from 21 in 2000 and down from a peak of 26 in 1968. It is the fewest electoral votes for Ohio since 1828, when it cast 16 electoral votes. Ohio cast 3.71 percent of the total electoral votes in 2004, the smallest percentage since it cast 3.40 percent of the votes in 1820. Ohio lost these electoral votes after the results of the 2010 United States Census, leaving it with 18 electoral votes for the presidential elections in 2012, 2016 and 2020.
Ohio's large population has long made the state a major influence in politics. Seven presidents have hailed from Ohio: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.1
The General Assembly, with the approval of the governor, draws the U.S. congressional district lines for Ohio's 16 seats in the United States House of Representatives. The Ohio Apportionment Board draws state legislative district lines in Ohio.
- Coffey, Daniel J., John C. Green, David B. Cohen and Stephen C. Brooks. 2011. Buckeye Battleground: Ohio, Campaigns and Elections in the Twenty-First Century. Akron, OH: University of Akron Press