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Counter Points is written by WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson. In it, he shares insights on political news on the local, state and national level that impacts the 2020 election. Counter Points is delivered once a week on Wednesdays and will cease publication soon after the November election is decided.

Ohio Seems To Be Losing Swing State Status With Latest Trump Win

Ohio Republican Party election night stage, November 2020
Andy Chow
Ohio Republican Party election night stage, November 2020

President Donald Trump winning Ohio by 8-points over his Democratic challenger two elections in a row has strategists wondering if Ohio is now a solidly red state.

The Trump Campaign says they built on the 2016 victory by getting more votes in historically Democratic strongholds, flipping blue counties such as Mahoning and Lorain.

Republican strategist Mark Weaver believes the results makes Ohio less of a battleground state in future presidential elections. 

"It doesn't mean that we're not still gonna be focused on a little it's just hard to make the case to come to Ohio as a swing state now that the Republican candidate has won it with 8 points or better two cycles in a row," says Weaver. 

Along with Trump's wins in 2016 and 2020, Ohio has seen a Republican sweep of the statewide executive races (governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor) since 2010.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is the only Democrat to consistently run a successful statewide campaign in Ohio in recent years. He says it's still a winnable state but the party needs to do a better job at connecting with voters with a pro-worker message. 

"In terms of being a red or blue state. We are clearly a state that's difficult to win for Democrats. But I won the state by a pretty healthy margin, 7%, and I'm not exactly a conservative, hide-in-the-corner, don't-speak-out, kind of Democrat. So I think it's still a winnable state," says Brown.

The only other Democrats to win statewide races in Ohio in the last decade have been four supreme court justices; Bill O'Neill, Michael Donnelly, Melody Stewart, and Jennifer Brunner.  

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.