TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Republican Mike DeWine won Ohio's governor race with the backing of men and older voters, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.
As voters cast ballots for governor, U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday's elections, AP VoteCast found that DeWine also won a big share of the vote in the state's small towns and rural areas.
Here's a snapshot of who voted and why in Ohio, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters — including 3,842 voters and 687 nonvoters in the state of Ohio — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
RACE FOR GOVERNOR
DeWine's victory could be tied to a strong showing among men, older voters and people in small towns and rural areas, negating Democrat Richard Cordray's advantage in the state's urban areas.
Cordray only managed to split the vote with DeWine among women and had just a slight edge with voters under age 45. But older voters outnumbered younger voters.
White voters overall favored DeWine, including those without a college degree. White college graduates were split between the two.
DeWine hit hard at Cordray over his support of a state ballot issue aimed at reducing the state's prison population by making most drug possession cases misdemeanor crimes. That issue failed overwhelmingly Tuesday.
RACE FOR SENATE
In the race for U.S. Senate, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown won another term by splitting the vote with Republican Jim Renacci among white voters and piling up a big advantage among black voters.
Voters under 45 widely backed Brown while those ages 45 and older were more split.
Only about one-third of Ohio voters said Trump didn't play a role in their decisions.
For everyone else, one-third said a reason for their vote was to express opposition to Trump while just about the same amount said they wanted to send a message that they backed the president.
Trump made four trips to Ohio since the beginning of August to build enthusiasm for the state's Republican candidates including an election-eve rally in Cleveland. In Ohio's governor race, both Cordray and DeWine put their final bets on Trump, reminding voters how they either opposed or shared the president's positions.
DeWine won in what had been expected to be a much closer race and courted Trump voters in the final weeks.
Trump called Cordray a "far-left disciple" of liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Daniel Donhowe, a 56-year-old engineer who voted in Dublin, a Columbus suburb, said he went with a straight slate of Democrats and the president was a big reason why. "I know they represent my core values. And I also know that they'll fight Trump, and I think he's taken us 100 percent in the wrong direction," he said.
Overall, the state's voters were evenly split over whether they thought Trump was doing a good job.
TOP ISSUE: HEALTH CARE
More voters in Ohio said health care was the most important issue facing the nation in this year's midterm elections followed by the economy and immigration.
STATE OF THE ECONOMY
Ohio's voters had a rosy outlook on the nation's economy, with around two-thirds saying it's in good shape. Republicans were counting on positive feelings about the economy and employment numbers to give them an edge, but Democrats contend the results have been uneven and that many areas are being left behind.
"I ended up voting for a lot of Republicans because I think they've got the best plan. And the economy is going extremely well now, and I think that's due to Republican leadership," said Gary Smith, a registered Republican who voted in Dublin.
The state's voters were almost evenly split on whether they thought the country was on the right track.
CONTROL OF CONGRESS
Tuesday's elections determined control of Congress in the final two years of Trump's first term in office. A large share of the state's voters said that was an important factor when they considered their vote, with nearly two-thirds saying it was very important. In Ohio, there was a U.S. Senate seat at stake, but only two competitive U.S. House races. Despite a few spirited Democratic candidates who were hoping for a "blue wave," there ended up being no change in the Republicans 12-4 advantage.
STAYING AT HOME
In Ohio, 3 in 4 registered voters who chose not to vote in the midterm election were younger than 45. A wide share of those who did not vote — 85 percent — did not have a college degree. About as many nonvoters were Democrats as Republicans.
AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate in all 50 states conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 3,842 voters and 687 nonvoters in Ohio was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day. It combines interviews in English or Spanish with a random sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files and self-identified registered voters selected from opt-in online panels. Participants in the probability-based portion of the survey were contacted by phone and mail, and had the opportunity to take the survey by phone or online. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. All surveys are subject to multiple sources of error, including from sampling, question wording and order, and nonresponse. Find more details about AP VoteCast's methodology at http://www.ap.org/votecast .
Associated Press writer Angie Wang in Dublin, Ohio, contributed to this report.
For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics