With the eyes of the nation focused on Florida, Joe Biden appears to be over-performing in a state that Donald Trump assumed would be a lock for his campaign: Ohio.
As of this hour, Biden is leading Trump in the Buckeye State by 12 percentage points with about half the vote counted.
As Kara Voght of Mother Jones pointed out, Biden’s map in Ohio looks a lot like Sherrod Brown’s 2018 map, when he carried the Buckeye State by seven points in that year’s Senate race.
Yes, I know a lot is early vote, but while we wait, I’ll explain why this matters: Sherrod Brown won places in ’18 that Clinton lost in ’16. And he ended up not running for president because Biden was getting into the race.
Brown’s coalition is likely Biden’s coalition. https://t.co/WM6U4Z18Ec
— Kara Voght (@karavoght) November 4, 2020
In key bellwether counties of Ohio, like Lake County and Wood County, where Trump won rather easily four years ago, Biden has leads at the moment.
In Delaware County outside of Columbus, Biden is also leading by 10 points. Hillary Clinton lost that county by about 16 points four years ago, and a Democrat hasn’t carried that county since 1916.
Earlier this week, Sherrod Brown expressed optimism about Biden’s chances in Ohio, even predicting he would carry the state.
More vote left to be counted, but Ohio could be close
It’s important to remember that there is still plenty of vote left to count in Ohio, but at the moment Biden appears to be holding his own.
What this seems to indicate – even if Biden doesn’t carry Ohio – is that he is running far stronger in the midwest than Hillary Clinton did four years ago.
If Biden carries Ohio by a few points – or even loses the state by a small margin – it bodes well for the former vice president in neighboring Pennsylvania and other key midwestern states like Wisconsin and Michigan.
There are still lots of vote left to be counted, but there are signs of optimism for the Biden campaign in the heartland.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.