Political Scientist Says Ohio Is No Longer A Bellwether, Swing, Or Battleground State

Nov 5, 2020

Experts following the presidential vote count say there’s a good chance Democrat Joe Biden could get the 270 electoral votes he needs soon. And if that happens, Ohio will have, for the first time in 60 years, failed to choose the winner. 

If you are one of the voters who enjoys personal visits from candidates, lots of campaign ads and lots of attention, you might not like what University of Cincinnati Political Science Professor David Niven has to say about Ohio's place in national politics these days.  He says this election makes it clear that Ohio is no longer a bellwether state that mirrors the overall national vote, and also isn’t a competitive state for the parties.

Niven says Ohio already went into this presidential race having lost its top tier battleground status and this outcome just makes that point even more clear.

“Not only shouldn’t we have been a toss-up, we weren’t anywhere close to being one. And the future battle for the presidencies is highly unlikely to run through Ohio," Niven says.

Like in 2016, polls were off and Niven says that’s because they didn’t accurately show who was going to show up to vote.

In the end, it appears more Ohio voters cast ballots for President Donald Trump re-election Tuesday than in 2016. Preliminary vote totals show Trump won the state by more than eight points.