“As I talked to people around the state, people who voted for the president, there’s a feeling that he has their back,” he said. “There’s a feeling he’s a fighter … And it kind of strikes me that Ohioans have always had an inclination to vote for people that they believe were fighting for them. And that really has cut across ideological grounds."
While Ohio has become a center-right state, DeWine said, a Democrat can still win in Ohio if it’s the right candidate and the right circumstances. As an example, he pointed to Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who has handily won every Senate election since he first ousted DeWine from the seat in 2006.
DeWine said "we’re as polarized as we’ve ever been,” but it is his job to find common ground and there are examples of both parties working together in Ohio.
DeWine emphasized that now the election is over, Ohioans need to pull together to face a common enemy: the COVID-19 virus.
Ohio has been consistently moving right in recent years, Husted said.
“There’s a good reason Trump won Ohio by eight (points) twice now,” he said. “I would call Ohio a red state, at least leans strongly red.”
Husted said this election in Ohio has proven some “conventional wisdom" to be false. It is a myth that party affiliation drives the Ohio Supreme Court election, he said. Republican candidate Sharon Kennedy won reelection to the court by 10 points this election while Democratic candidate Jennifer Brunner bested a Republican incumbent by 10 points.
“Another (myth is) that somehow high turnout is bad for Republicans and good for Democrats,” he said. “This was the highest voter turnout perhaps ever and Republican soundly won (in Ohio) … I think that high turnout favors the party that has the momentum.”
Also at the conference, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose spoke in a pre-taped video about Ohio’s successful election.
“Months ago, on the dry erase board in my chief of staff’s office, I wrote, ‘On Nov. 4, the world will know and believe the results of Ohio’s election’ and that’s exactly what we did,” he said. “When the world was watching, Ohio ran a fair and accessible and an honest election.”