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In election years, Ohio has history of picking winners

Your guide to the 2024 elections

State flags at the capitol building in Columbus, Ohio pabradyphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

In election years, Ohio has history of picking winners


Voter makeup: Ohio has about 7.9 million registered voters. According to voter history data analyzed by the secretary of state’s office, there were about 10 percent more Democrats than Republicans registered in 2021. From 1964 to 2016, Ohio supported the winning presidential candidate in every election. In 2020, former President Donald Trump was the first candidate to win in the state and lose the national election since Richard Nixon. Trump got 52 percent of voter support in the 2016 general election and 53 percent in 2020. Projection site Electoral Ventures predicts that Ohio will likely vote Republican again this November. Ohioans have recently favored policies associated with the Democratic Party. Last year, Ohioans voted to legalize recreational marijuana and add a right to abortion to the state constitution.

Voting: Voters must present a photo ID such as a passport or driver’s license. Paperwork like bank statements or checks aren’t sufficient forms of identification. “Provisional ballots” are available, provided that voters return with a photo ID within four days after Election Day. Unlike some states that allow same-day registration, Ohio requires voters to register at least 30 days before Election Day. Voters don’t have to have an excuse to get an absentee ballot. In December, the state attorney general rejected the Secure and Fair Elections proposal that would have automatically registered all Ohioans to vote.


In the primaries held on March 19, President Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination with 456,523 votes. He garnered 87 percent of his party’s support, up from 72 percent in 2020 when he was one of 11 Democratic candidates in the primary. Nearly 80 percent of Republican votes went to former President Donald Trump in March. He raked in over 100,000 more votes than in 2020’s primary. Even though she dropped out before the election, Nikki Haley got the majority of remaining Republican votes.


  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, holds one of a few key seats that could flip this year. Brown was first elected to the Senate in 2006. He has a well-financed campaign and raised about $12 million million during the first quarter of 2024. With tousled salt-and-pepper hair and loose-fitting suits, he considers himself a champion of the middle class. In late April, the Senate passed the Fend Off Fentanyl Act, which Brown helped to draft. The bill expands U.S. sanctions to fentanyl cartels in Mexico to cut off the supply chain.

  • Republican businessman Bernie Moreno won just over half of his party’s votes in the Senate primary, almost 20,000 more than his opponent. He claims his outsider status makes him an ideal candidate. “I’ve never held office,” he said in a campaign video. “I’m doing this because I firmly believe that career politicians have put us in a ditch and we need outsiders to fix this country.” As a legal immigrant from Colombia, he supports a stronger U.S.-Mexico border policy and speaks against outsourcing U.S. jobs to China. Moreno has received endorsements from Republican figures such as Donald Trump, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio.


  • Following the 2020 census, Ohio lost one congressional district and now has 15 U.S. House seats. Of those, Democrats hold five and Republicans have nine. Republican Rep. Bill Johnson resigned from the House in January, so the 6th District seat is currently vacant. Democrat Michael Kripchak and Republican Michael Rulli will compete to fill it.

  • Kripchak served in the Air Force for seven years before pursuing a career in Hollywood. According to a Ballotpedia survey, he says he wants to “restore the American dream” by advocating for education reform and backing a strong Farm Bill.

  • Michael Rulli is serving his second term in the Ohio state Senate for the 33rd district. Most recently, he sponsored the Saving Adolescents From Experimentation Act. The legislation, which passed, included provisions to protect minors from medical attempts to change their sex traits. It also requires schools to separate sports teams based on biological sex.


  • Ohio’s Supreme Court has had a Republican majority since 1986, and the balance is currently 4-3. To change the bench makeup, Democrats will need to defend two incumbents and win the open seat left by former Justice Maureen O’Connor. Under a law passed in 2021, judicial candidates must declare a party affiliation on the ballot.

  • Republican incumbent Joe Deters seeks a longer term and is challenging Democratic incumbent Melody Stewart for her seat. Republican Dan Hawkins and Democrat Lisa Forbes will race for Deters’ current seat. The final race is between incumbent Democrat Michael Donnelly and Republican Megan Shanahan. This final race could flip the court majority. This will matter when it comes to abortion rights. The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a lawsuit to challenge Ohio’s requirement that stipulates a woman must wait 24 hours before getting an abortion. If the case goes to Ohio’s Supreme Court, the court’s makeup will likely determine how the new constitutional amendment that added a right to abortion (known as Issue 1) will be implemented.

Dig deeper:

Visit the WORLD Election Center 2024 to follow our state-by-state coverage between now and November.

Bekah McCallum

Bekah is a reviewer, reporter, and editorial assistant at WORLD. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Anderson University.

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