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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: The Bluing of the Buckeye State?

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

Ohio hasn’t perhaps gotten as much attention as it deserves this cycle. That’s a little odd because it is very much in play–indeed, more so than GA and TX about which one hears much more. Right now, Biden is running a 1 point lead in the 538 polling average for the state and their model very slightly favors Biden (52 percent) to take the state. In contrast, the 538 averages have Biden behind by a point in GA and 2 points in TX and their model currently favors Biden in neither state.

How’s Biden doing so well in OH? In my Path to 270 in 2020 report with John Halpin we remarked on how the Democrats might be able to take back OH:

“For the Democratic candidate, even increasing Black turnout and support back to their strong levels in 2012 (they both declined significantly in 2016) would still leave them with a 4-point deficit in the state. The most efficacious change for the Democrats would be to cut Trump’s advantage with white non-college voters, concentrating on white non-college women, where Democrats’ deficit in 2016 was 30 points less than among men. Shaving 10 margin points off of Trump’s advantage among white non-college voters would, by itself, bring the Democratic candidate within 2 points in the state, and replicating Obama’s 2012 performance among this demographic in the state would allow them to actually carry the state, all else from 2016 remaining the same.

In all likelihood, a combination of these changes, at different levels, would be necessary for the Democrats to prevail. Trump, in a sense, just needs to hold serve.”

So, how’s Biden doing by these metrics? Cue the data! The two most recent OH polls are Fox and Quinnipiac.

In the Fox poll (Biden +5), Biden is carrying white college graduates by 7 (an 8 point swing in the Democrats’ favor) and white noncollege voters by 18 points (a 15 point pro-Democratic swing).

In the Quinnipiac poll (Biden +1), Biden is carrying white college graduates by 13 (a 14 point swing) and losing white noncollege voters by 19 (also a 14 point swing). And he is carrying black voters by 85 points, actually 5 points better than Clinton did in 2016.

So let’s hear it for the great state of Ohio! May the bluing last through election day.

For a very detailed geographic analysis of political dynamics, I recommend the Crystal Ball piece by Kyle Kondik on the state. Excellent.

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