That’s the number of consecutive presidential elections in which Ohio has sided with the winner, the longest active streak among the 50 states. Not since 1960, when Ohio backed Republican Richard M. Nixon over Democratic winner John F. Kennedy, has Ohio failed to side with the nationwide victor.
The state’s 20 electoral votes are a top prize for President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. One of Obama’s first two official campaign rallies will be in Ohio on May 5, and Romney visited the state last week. No Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio.
Obama won Ohio in 2008 by 51.5 percent to 46.9 percent, compared to 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent nationwide.