Exit polls showed independent voters decided Ohio's election on abortion and marijuana
Issues 1 and 2 passed with almost the same margins on Tuesday. But Issue 2 – legal marijuana – won in 40 counties, and Issue 1 on abortion rights won 25 counties – so the maps of election results look very different.
Issue 1 won in all 7 counties won by President Biden in 2020, and in 18 counties won by former president Trump in 2020. It failed in 63 counties, all of them rural or exurban. The seven counties Biden won were among the 40 counties where Issue 2 passed, and it was approved in 33 counties that Trump won. It failed in 48 counties.
Exit polls conducted by CNN showed how the vote broke down by age, gender, race and ideology.
More than a third of voters were 45-64 years old, the largest block by age. And once again, predictions of young voters flocking to the polls fell flat – they were 12%. Both issues won all age groups except voters over 65, with approval rates decreasing as age increased.
On Issue 1, the gap between women and men was seven points on Issue 1 and only three points on Issue 2.
The electorate was almost evenly divided among Republicans, Democrats and independents. The breakdown was similar when defined by party ideology. As expected, Republicans and conservatives overwhelmingly voted no on both issues. More than 80% of Republicans and conservatives voted no on Issue 1 and more than 90% of Democrats and liberals voted yes. On Issue 2, more than 70% of Republicans and conservatives voted no, while around 80% of Democrats and liberals voted yes.
It was the more than two-thirds of independent or self-identified moderate voters who decided the election by voting yes on both issues.
Another interesting data point from the CNN exit polls concerns people who identify as white born-again evangelical Christians. Nearly a quarter of that group - 24% - voted yes on Issue 1, and 30% in that group voted yes on Issue 2.
The Washington Post also did exit polls, with similar results.