COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Changing voting patterns have put Ohio in an unfamiliar position this presidential election: It’s in danger of being ignored.
Many former Democrats in rural, blue-collar Ohio voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and for an all-Republican statewide ticket last year. Those ballots helped turn territory along the Ohio River from blue to bright red. Now some Democratic presidential contenders are contemplating once unheard-of victory scenarios that leave out Ohio.
The state has sided with the winner in all but one presidential election since 1944.
Kyle Kondik is an elections analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. He says Ohio’s no longer “at the center of the political universe.”
Democrats will flock to the state this week for the next presidential debate. It happens Tuesday in a Columbus suburb.