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Presidential elections results[1]
Year Republican Democratic
2020 53.27% 3,154,834 45.24% 2,679,165
2016 51.69% 2,841,005 43.56% 2,394,164
2012 47.60% 2,661,437 50.58% 2,827,709
2008 46.80% 2,677,820 51.38% 2,940,044
2004 50.81% 2,859,768 48.71% 2,741,167
2000 49.97% 2,351,209 46.46% 2,186,190
1996 41.02% 1,859,883 47.38% 2,148,222
1992 38.35% 1,894,310 40.18% 1,984,942
1988 55.00% 2,416,549 44.15% 1,939,629
1984 58.90% 2,678,560 40.14% 1,825,440
1980 51.51% 2,206,545 40.91% 1,752,414
1976 48.65% 2,000,505 48.92% 2,011,621
1972 59.63% 2,441,827 38.07% 1,558,889
1968 45.23% 1,791,014 42.95% 1,700,586
1964 37.06% 1,470,865 62.94% 2,498,331
1960 53.28% 2,217,611 46.72% 1,944,248

Political control of Ohio has oscillated between the two major parties. Republicans outnumber Democrats in Ohio government. The governor, Mike DeWine, is a Republican, as are all other non-judicial statewide elected officials: Lieutenant Governor of Ohio Jon A. Husted, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Ohio State Auditor Keith Faber, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Ohio State Treasurer Robert Sprague.

In the Ohio State Senate, the Republicans have firm control (24-9), and in the Ohio House of Representatives the Republicans control the delegation (61-38). The Ohio Congressional Delegation is mostly Republican as well; 12 representatives are Republicans while four are Democrats. The Congressional map is gerrymandered (for Republicans), but in 2018, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment to limit how much the majority party could control the process of drawing congressional lines, beginning in 2022.[2] One U.S. senator, Rob Portman, is a Republican, while the other, Sherrod Brown, is a Democrat. The mayors of most of the 10 largest cities in the state (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Youngstown, Canton, Parma, Lorain) are Democrats. The Republicans are strongest in the rural Northwest, the affluent Cincinnati and Columbus suburbs, and have made gains in Appalachian Southeast Ohio over the past decade. The Democrats rely on the state's major cities as well as Northeast Ohio, and have made gains in educated suburban areas in recent years.

Due to a close split in party registration and its historical electoral importance, Ohio is a key battleground state. The state was vital to President George W. Bush's re-election chances, because he won there by nearly four points in 2000. No Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio. In 2004, 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. The state was closely contested in 2008 and 2012, with Barack Obama winning narrowly on both occasions. Ohio has been a bellwether state in presidential elections. Since 1860, Ohio has voted for the winning candidate, except for Grover Cleveland in both 1884 and 1892, Franklin D Roosevelt in 1944, John F Kennedy in 1960, and Joe Biden in 2020. Since 2016, Ohio's bellwether status has been questioned given that Donald Trump won it by 8 points, the largest margin for each party since 1988.[3][4]

Ohio's presidential electoral vote total has been declining for decades. Ohio lost two 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. The number of electoral votes was down from 20 in the 2004 and 2008 elections, and down from a peak of 26 in 1964 and 1968. As of 2020, Ohio has its fewest electoral votes since 1828, when it cast 16. The state cast 3.71 percent of all electoral votes in 2004 through 2020, the smallest percentage since it cast 3.40 percent of the votes in 1820.

Ohio's large population has long made the state a major influence in politics. Seven presidents have been from Ohio, all Republicans: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding.[5]

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.


As of September 19, 2019, there were two recognized political parties in Ohio.

Party registration as of October 1, 2021
Party Total voters Percentage
Unaffiliated 6,196,547 77.6%
Democratic 947,027 11.8%
Republican 836,080 10.4%
Total 7,979,654 100%

There are also two deregistered parties that have active executive committees.

The Greens

See also


  1. ^ Leip, David. "Presidential General Election Results Comparison – Ohio". US Election Atlas. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  2. ^ "Federal judges toss out Ohio's congressional map as illegal gerrymander". 10 May 2019.
  3. ^ No longer mirror of US, Ohio's electoral bellwether quiets Associated Press. November 14, 2020.
  4. ^ Political Scientist Says Ohio Is No Longer A Bellwether, Swing, Or Battleground State Statehouse News Bureau. November 5, 2020.
  5. ^ 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