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Ohio Falls to Obama

Ohio, the state in which Democrats' hopes for the presidency fell short four years ago, has gone for Barack Obama in this election -- a hugely important symbolic and practical victory for the Illinois senator.

Ohio

Ohio was called for Obama by around 9:30 p.m., making it the first red state to switch to blue so far on this election night.

Even in the days before the vote, Obama's campaign expressed some trepidation about their chances in Ohio -- perhaps once bitten, twice shy given the results from 2000 and 2004. (Important to note: No Democrat has ever been elected president without carrying Ohio.)

The so-called "Rust Belt" -- and its blue collar, white, rural voters -- was seen as a crucial battleground in this election; so far, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio all have been won by Obama.

With Ohio going to Obama, John McCain's path to the presidency -- already narrow -- grows ever more difficult.

With Ohio off the map, McCain absolutely must pull out wins in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. If he loses Florida, it's nearly impossible for him to make a reasonable case that he can get to 270 electoral votes tonight.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 4, 2008; 9:23 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

Real change in American history has always been tough. I do not feel the warm fuzzies of change yet because I hope Obama challenges the liberal status quo and streamlines ineffective govt. programs that Bush could never tackle because he was always under abuse as a lightweight and connected to intolerance (yet he federalized much of his agenda and ended up a Wilsonian nationabuilder in Iraq.)

Posted by: rsmith24 | November 5, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I believe you'd find that Nixon won Ohio in 1960, when JFK won the national election.

Posted by: davidscott1 | November 5, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

No Democrat has ever been elected president without carrying Ohio
--------
Ditto to the others correcting this error.

Posted by: davidscott1 | November 5, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

When Ohio went to Obama I expected the networks to call the race and declare Obama the winner. I guess they all turned chicken-sh*t after Florida 2000. The only way McCain could get to 270 after that was by winning California and we all knew that was not going to happen.

Posted by: Opa2 | November 5, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

And yes, before people point it out Kennedy won without Ohio too... but I'd quibble the point that Kennedy actually won the vote with living real people. *cough* Chicago-machine ballot box stuffing *cough*

Posted by: wlmorgan | November 4, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

ballot stuffing ? surely your not talking about ACORN ? that's not stuffing , that's registration. 2 very separate things . now 'ballot stuffing '? tampering with black boxes ? that's the cons' game.

Posted by: ripley8 | November 4, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

CNN & MSNBC both have West Virginia in McCain's column. Real Clear Politics has it in Obama's column. Does anybody have any better information?

Posted by: mtcentrist | November 4, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

So, the only question that remains is how big will Obama's margin be? He's still looking good in FL, VA, NC and IN. This could end in a EC landslide and a strong mandate for the Dems. Don't blow it Senator (or should I say President-elect)...

Posted by: CohtR | November 4, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"(Important to note: No Democrat has ever been elected president without carrying Ohio.)" More sloppiness from a guy who blogs politics. Just another sign of the WaPo's rapidly falling standards. But woe be unto you if you fail to capitalize the "T" ...

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 4, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

To answer myself, McCain will have to pick up OR, WA or CA to make up for the loss of OH & NM.

Game Over.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 4, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I voted in Ohio. I've got family in VA and FLA. They are crossing their fingers and are thanking me because the Buckeye State finally got it right. People, we are on the cusp of history. God bless Ohio. God bless us all.

Posted by: kweenbee | November 4, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

And yes, before people point it out Kennedy won without Ohio too... but I'd quibble the point that Kennedy actually won the vote with living real people. *cough* Chicago-machine ballot box stuffing *cough*

Posted by: wlmorgan | November 4, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

With New Mexico already gone, Ohio's fall seems to seal the deal, does it not?

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 4, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

An error in the commentary above. You say: "(Important to note: No Democrat has ever been elected president without carrying Ohio.)" That is true for the GOP, but not the Dems. JFK lost Ohio in 1960.

Posted by: BEHJ | November 4, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

No Republican has won without Ohio... FDR lost Ohio back in '44 and still won.

Posted by: wlmorgan | November 4, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Chris --
I believe you are mistaken. No REPUBLICAN (not Democrat) has won the presidency without Ohio. I realize that this is a hectic night; a misstep is understandable.

Posted by: mtcentrist | November 4, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

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