Ohio’s unofficial presidential vote was 53% for Donald Trump and 45% for Joe Biden, but breaking down the vote across Ohio’s 88 counties shows wide variations in who makes up the electorate and who they supported.
In Ohio, 81 mostly smaller counties went for Trump, and only seven counties, including the state’s big six, went for Biden.
So who makes up Ohio’s electorate, and what did they say this fall?
The six biggest counties, which account for over 40% of Ohio’s population, all went for Biden — Cuyahoga (Cleveland) and Franklin (Columbus) were 65-66% for Biden; Hamilton (Cincinnati) and Lucas (Toledo) were at 57%; Summit (Akron) at 54% and Montgomery (Dayton) just over 50%. The only small county to support Biden was Athens (home of Ohio University) at 57%.
But those other 81 counties make up the majority of Ohio’s population, a little bit at a time. The 30 counties where Trump had his widest margins of victory all rank among Ohio’s 40 smallest counties.
In order, the strongest Trump support came from Holmes County (NE/central), Putnam County (Northwest), Mercer County (West), Adams County (South-SW), Darke County (West), Noble County (East), Shelby County (West), Auglaize County (West), Highland County (South-SW) and Preble (West).
Of the 81 counties that went for Trump, 10 gave him 50-60% of the vote, 27 gave him 60-70% of the vote, 36 gave him 70-80% of the vote, and eight gave him 80-84% of the vote.
The seven counties that went for Biden all rank in Ohio’s top 25 counties for percentage of the population that attended at least some college, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency’s county profiles.
While that means 18 of the 25 counties with the most college-educated residents went for Trump, those counties weren’t the ones with the highest levels of support for Trump. Of the 50 counties with the highest Trump vote percentage, none of them rank in Ohio’s top 25 counties for percentage of the population that attended at least some college.
The counties that went for Biden skew younger, again according to the ODSA. Four of Biden’s top five counties (Athens, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas) rank among Ohio’s 10 youngest by median age. All seven are in the younger half of Ohio counties.
The counties that went for Trump skewed older. Of the 20 counties with the highest percentage of Trump vote, only one was among Ohio’s 20 youngest counties by median age — Holmes County, the heart of Ohio’s Amish country.
The eight most racially diverse counties in Ohio according to ODSA (Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Montgomery, Mahoning, Summit and Lorain), were among the nine strongest Biden supporters. Athens County was the other of those nine.
Similar to the education breakdown, of the 44 counties with the highest Trump vote percentage, none of them rank in Ohio’s top 25 counties for percentage of the population belonging to any minority group.
Of the seven counties that went for Biden, they generally rank in the middle for median household income, according to ODSA — none of them ranks in Ohio’s top 20, and only one ranks in the bottom 20.
Of the top 10 counties for Trump support, none ranked in the top 10 for median household income, but five ranked between 14th and 20th. Two ranked in the bottom 10 for median household income.
Interestingly, all of Ohio’s 10 highest-income counties (Delaware, Warren, Union, Geauga, Medina, Greene, Fairfield, Madison, Clermont and Lake) voted for Trump, but they did so at 52-69% support rates, not the higher 70-85% level that half of Ohio’s 88 counties did.
ONE COVID-19 DETAIL
The three counties with the highest percentage of Trump support — Holmes 83.3%, Putnam 82.4% and Mercer 81.8% — are also the three counties with the highest per-capita COVID-19 hospitalization rates through Monday, according to the Ohio Department of Health.