Polling News

Ohio’s Shift Left

November 09, 2023

Tuesday’s election results were a sharp reminder of the political impact of Pres. Trump. Republicans lost key races in Kentucky, Virginia, and a key pro-life effort in Ohio. While the left will claim victory against pro-life Republicans and people of faith, the 2023 elections were also a rebuke of former President Donald Trump. 

Why It Matters: In Ohio’s yes or no referendum to enshrine abortion in that state’s constitution, the counties that shifted the most relative to their 2020 vote voted for Trump in 2020. These counties overwhelming voted in favor of the pro-abortion measure.

By The Numbers:

  • In every county, fewer Ohioans voted “no” than voted for Trump in 2020. In 34 of the state’s 88 counties that went for Trump in 2020, there were more “yes” votes than Biden votes in 2020.
  • In one county, Coshocton, Trump won by 49 points, but “no” only won by 5 points.

 

The Bottom Line: Trump voters and the Republican base aren’t suddenly pro-choice or supportive of pro-abortion messages and laws. Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia saw a drop in Republican turnout, especially in rural areas. Some of that might be because of Mr. Trump’s attacks on pro-life voters, claiming they lost the GOP races in 2022. It may be more systemic: the Trump era has been synonymous with depressed turnout and declining enthusiasm for candidates too close to him and too much like him. It’ll likely continue in 2024 if he’s the nominee.  To win, Republicans must campaign early and aggressively on issues, not merely rage about supposed election interference and theft.  

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