This is the democrats stronghold and is located in the Cleveland area. Strong voter turnout in this county would make Obama a huge favorite. This of course assumes that Obama wins this county by at least 35%. Voter turnout of at least 600,000 is an indication that turnout is once again strong here.
This is the other strong population area and one that generally favors the republican. Democrats have been stressing that all they have to do is work for a relative draw here. They admit that a 3-4 point win for Romney here would be a key indicator of them likely losing the state. In 2008 Obama actually won the county by five points, but Bush won it in both 2000 and 2004. Republicans need the turnout to be 350,000 or more.
While you cannot place too much stock in these, here is a few signs that one candidate is likely headed for victory...
- Party identification numbers that are very close. Even a two point advantage for democrats is a great sign that Obama is going down in defeat. In 2008 democrats had a 39-31 advantage.
- Protestant/Evangelical turnout is huge in Ohio. A lead of at least 10 points among Protestant and even Catholic voters would be an early indicator that Romney will pull off the upset.
- Party identification numbers that show at least a five point lead for democrats is a sign that this state will once again be blue.
- The youth vote (18-29) was won by Obama by a whopping margin of 25 points. A margin close to this again will likely mean another four years for Obama. Last year this group made up 17% of the electorate, which was the same percentage of seniors.