Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast has a new piece out this week that talks about certain state that went to Trump but there are some very positive signs that it go to Biden:
Ohio held its primary this year in April. I say “in April” rather than on a specific date because, as you might remember, there was a whole drama around the date. It was supposed to happen on March 17, but that was just as the crisis was descending in full fury. Governor DeWine cancelled it. A judge overruled him. State Health Department Director Amy Acton overruled the judge. Then the legislature set a “date,” really a deadline, of April 28, meaning that absentee ballots had to be postmarked by April 27, or hand-delivered ballots had to be turned in to local election boards by the 28th.
Ohio has a “semi-open” primary, which means that a person can vote in whichever party’s primary they like, but there are separate ballots, and they have to request either the Democratic or Republican ballot. In other words, Republicans can vote in the Democratic primary, and vice-versa, and unaffiliated voters can do whatever, but they all have to request one ballot or the other from poll workers.
This system comes with a handy side effect: You can see how many enrolled members of both parties crossed over and decided to vote in the other party’s primary.
Without giving the matter much thought, you’d expect those numbers to be more or less even, right? And pretty low, too. Well, that’s where our story gets interesting.
Ohio’s 12th congressional district is a suburban/exurban district north and east of Columbus. The seat has been Republican since the 1940s (though very gerrymandered) and is now held by first-termer Troy Balderson. Donald Trump carried it by 11 points.
Now—back to ballot requests. In this year’s primary, in this district that has been Republican (with a single one-term interruption) since we were bombing Adolf Hitler, about 8,800 Republicans requested Democratic ballots. In reverse, only about 1,200 Democrats requested Republican ballots. In addition, about 21,000 “unaffiliateds” (independents) took Democratic ballots, and just 13,000 of them took GOP ballots. Overall, 73,000 people requested Democratic ballots, and 68,000 requested Republican ballots. That’s in a district that Cook rates R+7.
What’s it mean? Again, I’ll be cautious here. The obvious inference is that this imbalance is explained by suburban women’s disgust with Trump. We’ve seen this register in a lot of polls. Can there be other explanations? Maybe. But there just aren’t that many options.
The most likely other explanation is that there was a more competitive presidential race on the Democratic side, spurring Republicans to vote on that side of the fence.
Give the whole piece a read but Tomalsky highlights some very encouraging numbers about a high number of Republican voters switching over to vote Democratic in last month’s primary. There were high number of Republican voters in the suburbs of Cleveland and other parts of the state that requested Democratic ballots. Joe Biden defeated Bernie Sanders in the Ohio Democratic Primary 72.4% to 16.6%. Barack Obama and Joe Biden defeated John McCain and Sarah Palin 51% to 47% and defeated Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan 51% to 48%. The numbers indicate that Ohio misses the Obama/Biden team and we have a great shot at winning it back. Let’s make that happen. Click here to donate and get involved with Biden’s campaign.