Could The Election Come Down To One County ?

All year we’ve heard all about how the election is going to be decided in a few key swing states and over the past few weeks we have started to hear that the real issue is the state of Ohio. One state out of fifty making the decision.

When reviewing the campaign most experts point to the Democratic leaning areas of northern Ohio as key to Obama while the Republican leaning areas of southern Ohio (including coal country) are vital to Romney.

But there is an argument that the race really could be tracked down to one county.

That is Hamilton County which is anchored by Cincinnati and the farm country around it.

In 2004 President Bush carried the county by 25,000 votes and carried the state by about 100,000 votes.

In 2008 President Obama carried the county by 30,000 votes and carried the state by about 250,000 votes.

If you look to history the numbers are not quite as solid but they are close. Every single time a Democrat won Hamilton County he won the state of Ohio and most of the times the Republican won it he won Ohio (the exceptions tending to come in years where a 3rd party candidate split the vote, such as 1992).

Obviously just because things happened before do not mean they will happen again and there is no way to say for sure if Ohio will follow Hamilton or indeed if the election will come down to Ohio (it is possible for both candidates to win without Ohio).

Indeed there are those who say that a Republican has never won the Presidency without Ohio and while this is true, up until 2008 no Democrat had won the White House without carrying Arkansas and Missouri, but Obama did it.

Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

3 Comments

  1. Except that Obama does not need ohio to win. The polling shows that he can still take Virginia and most of the Midwest west swing states.

  2. This cartoon sums up this kind of thinking nicely…

    http://xkcd.com/1122/

    And yes, an example is provided there for every election we’ve had.

  3. Great cartoon Slamfu.

    I do agree that trend and “never happened befores” are of limited (or no) value, though I do think swing counties can often suggest the trend of a state.

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