Ohio, counties outside Toledo lose bellwether streaks with Trump wins, Biden presidency

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AP's Biden call ends streaks dating back generations

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – In every presidential election since 1964, the winner of Ohio had gone on to win the nation. Until 2020.

With a Saturday morning call of Pennsylvania for Joe Biden, the former Vice President will win the presidency, according to the Associated Press. Trump’s 8-point win in Ohio and his loss in the Electoral College knock the Buckeye State off its 14-election bellwether streak, but it also ends streaks in bellwether counties in suburban and rural Toledo.

Ottawa, Wood, and Sandusky counties again voted with the state, but each of their decades-long streaks of accurate predictions are stopped with Biden’s victory. Ottawa had been perfect since 1964, Wood since 1980, and Sandusky since 1992.

Furthermore, as NBC4 reported on Monday, six counties nationwide – including Ottawa – had been perfect since at least 1964. All those counties went for President Trump this year, which stops their streaks (one dating to 1952).

CountyStatePerfect
since
2020
Trump
margin
ValenciaNM1952+10.00
VigoIN1956+14.73
OttawaOH1964+23.16
WestmorelandVA1964+9.54
JuneauWI1964+29.25
SawyerWI1964+13.28
Unofficial results from the Associated Press. Results are not final until certified.

Digging into Ohio

Wood County was yet again a close predictor of Trump’s overall victory in Ohio. In 2016, the county that encompasses Bowling Green, the Toledo suburbs, and large rural swaths, matched his statewide 8.05% margin over Hillary Clinton.

In 2020, Trump won Wood by 7.63% and the state by 8.17%, according to unofficial results compiled by the Associated Press.

In Sandusky County, Trump blew out Biden by more than 27 percentage points. He beat Clinton four years ago by less than 23 points. In Ottawa County this year, Trump won by more than 23 points.

Biden improved on Clinton’s vote totals in all three of these bellwether counties, but Trump increased his turnout, too, and cruised to victory.

With prediction streaks snapped in Ottawa, Wood, and Sandusky counties, Ohio’s longest bellwether streak now lies in Dayton. Montgomery County was the only one to flip for Biden this year, continuing a modest perfect streak dating to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008.

Ohio was also not the only state to break a significant bellwether streak this year. Florida, which had voted for the eventual president in six straight elections dating to 1996 went for Trump. America’s top bellwether streaks are now in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, perfect since 2008.

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