Battleground County: Hamilton County, Ohio

Note: This is a blog post from July 16 that never got published.  No clue why.  But when I went looking for Hamilton County info for the earlier Ohio poll I knew something was missing.  Well, here it is:

We’ve had this county show up in a few posts — both in the Ohio battleground Map post as well as in the voter registration post.  The Cincinnati Enquirer takes a look at this county that may be the home of Romney’s Vice President, but may also be the county that decides our next President:

Hamilton County is in play. After going Democratic in 2008 for the first time in a presidential race since 1964, Democrats hope to build on Barack Obama’s historic win here while Republicans hope to prove it was an anomaly. Obama visits today [Monday] for the first time in 10 months, but it certainly won’t be the last time he’ll be here before Election Day on Nov. 6, said county Democratic Chairman Tim Burke.

“I think everybody concedes that Mitt Romney can’t win the White House without winning Ohio,” Burke said, “and he can’t win Ohio without winning Hamilton County.” Burke and county Republican Chairman Alex Triantafilou don’t agree on a lot, but they agree Hamilton County will be critical this year. “We can push (the election) over the edge because we are a critical corner of the state,” Triantafilou said. “Electorally, at the end of the day (2008) wasn’t a close election. We feel like this one will be close.”

Swing county in a swing state

Ohio is one of the largest swing states, and in 2008 Hamilton County voted slightly more for Obama than the state as a whole at 53 percent vs. 51.5 percent. “We are the local representatives of the national brand,” said Triantafilou. “In 2008, I would argue, the brand was a little tarnished, and 2010 was the beginning of our comeback” with the elections of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park.

Reservations for the Fall

Obama has made several trips to northern and central Ohio in recent months – that’s because the first priority in a campaign is always to shore up the areas of strongest support, said Herb Asher, professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State University. Despite the increasingly Democratic leanings of Hamilton County, neighboring Butler, Clermont and Warren counties remain firmly Republican. “You always take care of your base,” Asher said. “We know northeast Ohio is going to be very Democratic. Turnout there is going to make all the difference in the world.” At the same time, Asher noted, in a close election every vote counts, and they count equally regardless of which part of the state they come from.

Until 2008, Republican presidential candidates could count on Hamilton County, although margins have shrunk dramatically since 1996, when losing candidate Bob Dole took 50.1 percent of the county vote. Now Hamilton is one of three counties nationwide that the national media is following as a bellwether of the election. The Romney campaign, which raised $3 million during a stop here last month, is conceding nothing. “Absolutely, Hamilton County is winnable,” said Christopher Maloney, Ohio campaign spokesman. “It has traditionally been a stronghold for Republicans … and we’re counting on it to put us over the top in November.”

How Hamilton County Has Voted

 2008 Obama McCain
Hamilton County 53.0 46.0
Ohio result 51.5 46.9
2004 Kerry Bush
Hamilton County 47.1 52.5
Ohio result 48.7 50.8
2000  Gore  Bush
Hamilton County 42.8 54.0
Ohio result 46.5 50.0
1996  Clinton Dole
Hamilton County 43.1 50.1
Ohio result 47.4 41.0


  1. No Tribe
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    *** New NBC/WSJ/Marist polls of FL, OH, VA: Just how big was Romney’s bounce after the debate? And did it continue beyond the immediate days afterward? We’ll be releasing new NBC/WSJ/Marist polls tomorrow morning that will give us a good answer. Before last week’s debate, we measured the contests of Florida (where it was Obama 47% Romney 46%), Ohio (Obama 51% Romney 43%), and Virginia (Obama 48% Romney 46%). Well, after the debate, we went back into the field in those same three states. Stay tuned for the results.

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      *** This week’s 10 hottest markets: And by the way, here are this week’s 10 hottest advertising markets in the presidential contest (in terms of advertising points from Oct. 8-14):
      1. Orlando, FL (Obama/1600, Romney/1600, ROF/775, Priorities/630, ROF/215)
      2. Norfolk VA (Romney/1500, Obama/1300, ROF/1200, Priorities/350, NRA/300)
      3. Cleveland, OH (Romney/1500, Obama/1500, AmCrossroads/1200, Priorities/400)
      4. Denver, CO (Romney/1500, Obama/1500, AmCrossroads/1200, Priorities/300)
      5. Toledo, OH (Romney/1500, Obama/1500, AmCrossroads/1100, Priorities/300, NRA/250)
      6. Des Moines, IA (Romney/1500, Obama/1300, ROF/1000, Priorities/350, American Future Fund/360)
      7. Roanoke, VA (Romney/1500, ROF/1500, Obama/750, Priorities/300, NRA/400)
      8. Cedar Rapids, IA (Romney/1500, Obama/1300, ROF/780, American Future Fund/415, Priorities/400)
      9. Green Bay, WI (Romney/1500, ROF/1500, Obama/500, Priorities/500, NRA/400)
      10. Tampa, FL (Romney/1,500, Obama/1500, ROF/675, NRA/250

  2. No Tribe
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The real narrative:

  3. margaret
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I just checked the absentee ballot request spreadsheet. From numbers updated yesterday (from Secretary of State sites), the numbers for Hamilton County are: Republicans at 27% (21698), Democrats at 16% (12655). Total 80722 ballot requests so far, compared to 117706 with almost 1 month to go. In 2008, Dems ended up at 14%, Reps 20% but Reps were 23677 so Republican ballot requests this election have almost matched the 2008 total Republican requests and will surpass that very soon. It shows an increased enthusiasm from registered Republicans here AND all across all Ohio counties being tracked. Cuyahoga County, D-dominated, is only running 2:1 Dem. They need much more than that to overpower the R strength we’re seeing in all the other counties.

    We assume registered Republicans ask for ballots and vote R and Democrats vote D. That may not hold if Dems start voting Romney.

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