Donald Trump has a huge Ohio problem

It’s getting harder each day for Donald Trump to see the good side of things. He’s shaking up his campaign staff, but can’t be 100% sure who’s cheating him and who isn’t, and a campaign that originally hoped to widen Trump’s electoral win in 2020 by flipping states like New Mexico and Minnesota now has to play defense in territory that Trump needs if he wants any shot at re-election. Joe Biden has stayed a few points ahead in nearly all of the battleground states, and now there are signs that Ohio might also be in play.

Despite being known as a sort of bellwether state that determines which way the country as a whole might swing, Ohio has leaned a bit more conservative than much of the country. Although the primary took place some time ago, we’re getting a clearer picture of some of the numbers – and the story isn’t exactly one that Republicans want to hear after they won the state by eight points in 2016 and narrowly kept the governorship in 2018. Pundits wrote this off as Ohio officially becoming a red state, but there’s a few numbers that don’t sit right with Republican pollsters.

To begin with, Ohio holds semi-open primaries in which registered voters can vote in either party’s primary – with a number of Republicans crossing over to vote in the Democratic primary. You could read this as an attempt to sabotage the primary, but Ohio’s deadline for ballots was three weeks after Joe Biden became the presumptive nominee. The voters also have to request one ballot or the other in order to vote, which means that it’s possible to see how many voters switched over to vote in the other party’s primary.

You’d normally expect these numbers to be about even during any election year, but in one solidly Republican 12th congressional district of Ohio, there were 8,800 Republicans who decided to vote in the Democratic primary, while only 1,200 Democrats chose to vote in the Republican one – and nearly 8,000 more unaffiliated voters requested Democratic primary ballots than Republican ones – a group of voters Biden leads nationwide by 13%. There is the possibility that Trump could still win Ohio, but he desperately needs it, while Biden has a clear path to victory without it.

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