President Barack Obama won Ohio by 166,214 votes on Nov. 6, a margin of 3 percentage points, state election officials said today in announcing official returns.
So Ohio, while highly competitive, wasn’t exactly the nail-biter it seemed to be early on Election Day. An unofficial count Nov. 6 had Obama up over Republican Mitt Romney by 2 points and 106,414 votes.
Obama’s 3-point win in Ohio, by 50.7 percent to 47.7 percent, exceeded George W. Bush’s margin of 2.1 points over John Kerry in Ohio in 2004, when the state clinched a second term for Bush. Obama won Ohio in 2008 by 4.6 points and 262,224 votes.
While Obama’s percentage fell by 0.8 points from 51.5 percent in 2008, he received a larger share of the vote in key population centers including Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland and suburbs, and Franklin County, which takes in the state capital of Columbus and Ohio State University.
In Cuyahoga, the biggest county in the state, Obama rose to 69.4 percent of the vote from 68.9 percent in 2008. In Franklin, Ohio’s second-biggest county, Obama rose to 60.7 percent from 59.7 percent. More than one in five Franklin County residents is black.
Obama improved on his 2008 showing in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, part of northeastern Ohio’s Mahoning Valley, where the unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in August from 13.3 percent in March 2010, Bloomberg News reported in late October.
In Hamilton County in and around Cincinnati, Obama won 52.5 percent of the vote compared with 53 percent in 2008.
Ohio was the third-closest state in the Nov. 6 election in terms of percentage-point margin of victory. Florida backed the president by less than 1 point and North Carolina went for Romney by 2 points.
Ohio’s vote to re-elect Obama marked the 13th consecutive election in which the state sided with the White House winner, the longest streak in the nation.