Trump Wins Ohio, Tops in Mahoning, Trumbull; Crushes in Columbiana

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Just after midnight, the Associated Press announced President Donald J. Trump had won the state of Ohio, taking the state’s 18 Electoral College votes.

At 12:35 a.m., with 8,775 precincts of 8,933 counted, Trump led with 53.48% of the vote compared to Democrat Joe Biden’s 45.09%.

When all the precincts were counted, Trump finished with 53.36% of Ohio’s vote, or 3,074,418 votes. Biden had 45.19% or 2,603,681 votes.

The president won both Mahoning and Trumbull counties — a big comeback from early voting totals when Biden was ahead in Mahoning. And in Columbiana County, Trump’s resounding victory there became apparent as soon as the first votes were counted.

Columbiana County delivered 71.44% of its votes to the president, a crushing victory. Unofficial results show Trump with 35,124 votes compared to 13,183 for Trump.

In Mahoning County, with all precincts reporting, Trump finished first with 50.27% of the vote, or 58,601 votes, compared to Biden’s 48.34% or 56,346 votes.

In Trumbull County, Trump won with 54.48% compared to Biden at 44.12%, or 53,756 votes for the president, 43,534 for the former vice president.

Former Vice President Biden took a strong lead in Mahoning County in early voting returns but that lead slipped away as Election Day votes were counted.

As of 9 p.m., Biden was leading in Mahoning with 61.9% of the early in-person and absentee vote, or 42,042 votes. That compared to President Donald J. Trump trailing with 37% of the vote, or 25,133 votes.

By 10:20, with 114 of the county’s 212 precincts tabulated, Biden’s Mahoning total declined to 55.98% compared to 42.69% for Trump.

Trump won Trumbull County in 2016.

In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton barely carried Mahoning County, receiving just 49.9% of the vote.

Historically, Ohio is a must-win state for Republicans.

No Republican has reached the White House without carrying Ohio.

Meanwhile, the state’s GOP-drawn congressional map remains unbeaten, with all 16 incumbents winning. The Republicans have held a 12-4 majority in the state’s U.S. House delegation since the map took effect in 2012.

GOP legislators will keep “supermajorities” in the Statehouse, even after a federal bribery scandal involving their former House speaker.

But a Democrat won one of two Supreme Court positions being contested, narrowing the GOP edge to 4-3.

Ohio has been trending Republican in recent statewide elections. Biden, born in Pennsylvania, mounted a late but strong challenge. The former vice president stepped up media spending as early voting began in October.

The AP VoteCast survey found that 3 in 5 Ohio voters said the U.S. is on the wrong track, while 2 in 5 said the nation is headed in the right direction. The survey included 3,767 voters and 700 nonvoters in Ohio, conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

About half of Ohio voters think the coronavirus is not at all under control in this country. The state is among those experiencing new increases in cases and deaths.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose touted Ohio’s response to a variety of glitches and other incidents on Election Day as the state set voter turnout records.

The day began with an issue when election officials at Franklin County, the state’s most populous, made the decision to shift to paper poll books systemwide to check-in voters when officials were unable to fully upload voter data into the electronic versions. The decision led to an increase in wait times for voters but did not appear to impact the actual vote count, according to LaRose’s office.

Several first-time female candidates challenged Republican incumbents in the U.S. House, but all fell short.

Republican Rep. Steve Chabot clinched his 13th term in Congress, defeating first-time Democratic candidate Kate Schroder. Schroder, a public health professional, had been seen by Democrats as their best shot for finally flipping a House seat in the last election before Census-triggered redistricting. However, Chabot’s strength in the GOP-dominated Warren County that became part of his district in the remap helped carry him through.

Republican Rep. Troy Balderson, first elected in 2018, held his central Ohio seat against Democrat Alaina Shearer, like Schroder a first-time candidate. Republican Rep. Mike Turner of Dayton won his 10th term, defeating first-time Democratic candidate Desiree Tims. Four-term Republican Rep. Dave Joyce was reelected after facing a spirited challenge from Democrat Hillary O’Connor Mueri, a first-time candidate and and former naval flight officer.

The nation’s longest-serving woman in Congress led the way as all four of Ohio’s Democratic House incumbents won reelection. Rep. Marcy Kaptur won her 19th term from northern Ohio, Rep. Marcia Fudge her sixth from the Cleveland area, Rep. Tim Ryan his fifth from the Youngstown area, and Rep. Joyce Beatty her fourth from the Columbus area.

On the Republican side, Rep. Jim Jordan, a fiery conservative supporter of Trump in Congress, won his 8th term from northwest-central Ohio, and Rep. Warren Davidson, who succeeded former House Speaker John Boehner in his western Ohio district by winning a 2016 special election, won his third full term. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who served in the Iraq War as a combat surgeon, won a fifth term from southern Ohio. Former Ohio State University football player Anthony Gonzalez won his second term in northeast Ohio.

Veteran Reps. Steve Stivers, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson and Bob Latta also won reelection.

Democrat Jennifer Brunner defeated incumbent Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judi French in one of two contested races on the state high court. Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy turned back Democrat John O’Donnell to leave the GOP with a 4-3 majority on the state’s highest court.

Brunner is a state appeals court judge and a former Ohio Secretary of State. She made an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 2010. French, a former assistant Ohio attorney general, was running for her second full six-year term on the court. French won election in 2014 after being appointed to the court a year earlier.

Republicans retained their supermajorities in both chambers of Ohio’s Legislature despite a federal bribery scandal involving the former speaker, Larry Householder.

The outcome gives the GOP enough votes to override a governor’s vetoes and to more easily place constitutional amendments before voters.

Householder’s reelection bid was unclear early Wednesday, since votes cast for four write-in candidates running against him had not yet been counted.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Pictured: This combination of Sept. 29, 2020, file photos shows President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.