Ohio is one of 24 states that does not require voters to register with a particular party. This means there is no official record of voter party affiliation.  However, the need for these voter files is diminishing, as 64% of the electorate are crossing lines when they vote.* Both of these factors underscore the need to understand the platforms and specific policy issues that determine how Ohioans will cast their vote.

Resonate took a deeper look at Ohio’s voters. Thirty-six percent report voting Democratic, 30% Republican, and 27% Swing (those who are willing to cross party lines at least some of the time).

We also looked at how these voters choose their candidates based on their platform positions; there are stark differences in the top issues for Democratic and Republican voters.  Healthcare and job creation are tied for the top issue for Democratic voters, with 56% citing it as a key platform issue.  They also look a candidate’s stance on entitlement programs (44%).  Republicans are looking at government spending (60%), balanced budget (50%) and defense/military (41%). Swing Voters are focused on government spending (47%), job creation (45%) and healthcare (39%).

If either side is looking to win over “soft” voters from the other, they won’t do it based on social issues. Traditional marriage/gay rights remain hot button issues for both, as well as race/gender equality and pro-choice on the left and pro-life and 2nd amendment rights on the right.

As campaigns consider this statewide data, they should also account for nuances within the congressional districts. We drilled down on OH-6 to take a closer look.

Voters within OH-6 skew slightly more Republican (31%) and Swing (28%). But unlike voters on the state level, there is one consistent consideration for voters: job creation. For Republican voters, it replaces military/defense issues. Education overtakes entitlement for Democratic voters.  The top 3 platforms for Swing voting remain the same.

Ohio Voters Infographic


*Resonate 2014 Voter Motivation Landscape Study