With 72.66% of the vote counted, the Secretary of State shows State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-North Canton) and County Commissioner Matt Miller (R-Ashland) almost tied at 44.86% to 44.39%. However, it appears that there are more uncounted votes from Stark County, the only one of the four counties in the district where Schuring is doing better than Miller, so the chances are that Schuring will pull out a narrow victory.
Party-endorsed Roland Winburn (D-Dayton) held off a stiff challenge from Vic Harris (D-Dayton) to earn the right to run for the seat of term-limited veteran legislator Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). With 99.1% of the vote counted, Winburn has 55.87% of the vote and Harris has 44.13%.
Montgomery County is reporting 97% of the vote and shows Jane Mitakides (D) at 55.54% over Charles Sanders (D) at 32.49% and David Esrati (D) at 11.97%. The SOS site shows Mitakides comfortably ahead in Warren and Clinton Counties as well.
In primaries that were not expected to be close, congratulations go to Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell), State Sen. John Boccieri (D-New Middletown), and Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover).
It looks like Space will be facing Fred Dailey (R-Mt Vernon).
Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) will fend off the primary challenge of Steve Black (D-Indian Hill) and take another shot at Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland).
Hamilton County is showing only 20.11% of the vote counted, but Wulsin is leading there 5,442 votes to 1,555. Clermont is almost all in and Wulsin leads 12,342 to 6,993. Partial results in Adams, Scioto, and Warren show Wulsin leading almost 2 to 1, and Wulsin won Brown County 3,323 to 2,501.
UPDATE: Wulsin has declared victory and Black has conceded.
2nd UPDATE: With 70% of precincts reporting, Wulsin had won 38,665 votes to 31,927 for her Republican opponent, Rep. Jean Schmidt.
Putting together results from various sources, attorney Sharen Neuhardt (D-Yellow Springs) looks like a winner over repeat candidate Bill Conner (D-Beavercreek). Neuhardt is leading in Clark County with 96% of the vote counted, 8,057 to 6,831. She won Greene County 8,297 to 4,713. In Franklin County, with 72 of 77 precincts reporting, Neuhardt is ahead 4,095 to 3,185. Fayette County is basically tied in early voting. Pickaway County went for Conner by 2,714 to 1,526. Ross County went for Connor 642 to 360. They are tied in Fairfield County in early voting. Perry is too early to call, but Neuhardt has over 40% of the vote so far.
All in all, it looks like the wide margin in Greene County puts Neuhardt over the top and she cruises to a win.
With over half the vote counted, Hillary Clinton has a healthy lead of about 57% to 41%. Of course, the final margin matters a great deal, and we have a while to wait for that.
In a closely watched county officer race, party-endorsed candidate and Clerk of Courts John O'Grady (D) looks to be headed to a convincing win over Cindy Lazarus (D). WIth 681 of 854 precincts reporting, O'Grady has 54.82% of the vote, Lazarus has 45.18%.
Nurse and attorney Jan Lanier (D-Westerville) appears to be headed for a convincinb primary win over homemaker Kelly Wenzlaff (D-Powell) in the 2nd Ohio House District. With 92.37% of the vote counted in Delaware County, Lanier has 69.11% of the vote to 30.89% for Wenzlaff.
With 230 of 374 precincts reporting, the Franklin County Board of Elections shows David Robinson leading Russ Goodwin with 49.76% to 35.63% of the vote. Robinson is also ahead in Licking County with 52.72% to 33.98% at the SOS site. In Delaware County, with 92.37% of the vote counted, Robinson is ahead of Goodwin 51.13% to 34.03%.
With 69 of 109 precincts reporting, Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) has a 53.54% to 46.46% lead over Bev Campbell (D-Gahanna).
Wow. Dayton Daily News exit polling says African Americans went for Obama by 89% to 11%.
MSNBC projects that McCain has 1205 delegates, wrapping up the nomimation. George Bush will endorse him tomorrow, and Huckabee is expected to do so as well.
UPDATE: Huckabee concedes; watching it on MSNBC and CNN.
Here is the list, courtesy of the Obama campaign (after the break).
Big, big age gap numbers, per CNN exit polling: under 29, 67% went for Obama; over 60, 63% for Clinton.
Word just in - Obama campaign wants to keep Cuyahoga County polls open due to bad weather.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign has sent out an email message urging voters standing in line to stay in line:
With reports of lines at polling stations all over the state, the Obama for Ohio Campaign is urging voters to stay in line and vote.
Any voter who was in line by 7:30 and remains in line will be able to vote, no matter how long it takes to get through the line.
“Every vote counts in Ohio and we want to ensure that every voter has a chance to be heard,” said Ohio State Director Paul Tewes.
“We will continue to monitor the polls to ensure that all Ohioans who choose to participate in today’s election are able to do so regardless of who they choose to vote for.”
2nd UPDATE: Fifteen Cuyahoga County precincts will stay open until 9:00 p.m. This results from an order by a federal judge, sought by the Obama campaign, based on a shortage of Democratic ballots at those locations.
I happened to catch State Rep. Eugene Miller (D-Cleveland) on MSNBC about an hour ago. He was talking about the difficulty of holding the line for Clinton when most of his constituents in the heavily African American 10th Ohio House District were voting for Obama. He said that his primary opponent, Freddie Moore (D-Cleveland), was benefiting at the polls from having loudly proclaimed his (Moore's) support for Obama. As to whether he was supporting Clinton due to the influence of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland), Miller conceded that he is a "good trooper." However, when Miller was asked if he would withdraw his support for Clinton if Tubbs Jones did, Miller turned the tables on his questioners by answering, "As Tubbs Jones goes, so goes Hillary Clinton." Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann both praised that as a skillful answer.
This could be the story of the night. CNN exit polling pegs turnout by Ohio women at 59%. I had heard predictions of maybe 55%, not 59%. This is huge -- Clinton leads among women by 54% to 45%.
This just in from WTOL TV in Toledo:
Sandusky County polls open until 9 p.m.
SANDUSKY COUNTY -- News 11 has learned that Sandusky County will close polls at 9 p.m. They had run out of Democratic ballots around 3:30 p.m. on Monday so extended poll hours.
No results will be released by other counties until 9 p.m.
When they started printing new ballots, there was a malfunction. So, new ballots were delivered to the polls.
News 11 received calls about this situation from people in several towns, including Vickery, Gibsonburg and Fremont."
UPDATE: From Ohio Secretary of State Website:
Because the polls in Sandusky County will remain open later due to a court order, no Ohio county board of elections may report results until after 9:00 p.m. this evening. Please check this web site again after 9:00 p.m.
The ugly ice storm that Earl posted about in Toledo arrived in Cleveland about 6:30 p.m., so that last hour at the polling places was a nightmare. It is easy to imagine lots of voters giving up when their cars were sliding around on the road and it was difficult to walk on the sidewalks.
UPDATE (from Earl)
So how bad is it?
Now THAT is a bad freakin' weather map.
I got home about 5:00 PM. Since then, almost two inches of frozen precipitation has fallen and the winds are howling. My poor car is encrusted.
Remember that for most rural counties, someone from each rural polling place has to drive to the county seat to deliver the paper ballots and memory cards, all BEFORE the counting can start.
Ohio polls closed moments ago, and MSNBC calls Ohio for McCain but says it is too close to call between Clinton and Obama.
I returned home about an hour ago to find that BOTH Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had called me, duly recorded on my answering machine. Interesting to compare - Obama is shorter and less specific, Clinton refers to "low turnout" (?) and to the lousy weather:
Just in: from exit polls, CNN just reports that in Ohio Obama has maintained his 2:1 advantage in the youth vote. Concurrently Hillary Clinton has maintained her 2:1 ratio in the senior vote.
More to come.
Update: 6:18P - From ABC NEWS: "Change" Tops "Experience"
"Turnout among women looks to be up in these preliminary results -- they account for about six in 10 voters in Ohio, compared with 52 percent in Ohio in 2004"
Update 6:24: Obama wins Vermont, tie in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island
Update: 6:32: CNN reports exit polls which show: Voters wIthout college degree support Hillary Clinton 56% to Obama's 43%. Those voters who are college graduates support Obama 56% to Clinton's 43%
In his post at the Sky News web site today, blogger Dave of NixGuy.com wrote that while "there’s been some talk about Republicans voting Democratic in order to
run against Hillary as they see her as the weaker candidate in November," he thinks that in the end "most Republican voters will vote on the Republican ticket."
Still, there are reports of lots of cross-over voting. Reporters for The Plain Dealer wrote on Openers this afternoon that "poll watchers throughout Ohio are noting large numbers of Republican voters crossing over to vote in the Democratic Primary." They say that one precinct in thoroughly Republican Chagrin Falls had 70% Democratic voting, a reversal of the usual ratio. In another Republican stronghold, Chester Township in Geauga County, Democratic ballots outnumbered Republican ballots by nearly 50% early in the day.
Just as we head into the peak voting hours, NW Ohio is getting lashed by a severe ice storm. It's horrible. The temperature is hovering between 27-29 F. And the ice is just pouring down. Rural roadways are beyond treacherous. I just saw an emergency crew using a Hurst Tool ("jaws of life") to extricate an accident victim at the junction of OH 25 and Bays Road, just north of Cygnet.
In my little precinct in 2006, for the fall general election, we had 328 citizens cast their ballot out of 585 who were registered. During the OH-05 special election back in December, we had 168 ballots out of 600 who were registered.
As of 4:00 PM today, we had about 175 voters.
However, that number includes 44 citizens who were changing party affiliation for today's vote.
In Wood county overall, we had a record number of absentee and early voters and for the first time ever, more Democrats (2,269) than Republicans (1,911.)
Before the ballots can be tallied, the precinct judge from each of these rural polling locations must make their way into Bowling Green with their data cards. I just made that trip in daylight and it took me 55 minutes (and I was driving too fast.) Tonight, in the dark, after the polls close, it could be a challenge to get into BG from some of the outlying rural polling locations in the southern part of the county.
With everything that is going on, I do NOT expect results to be in early.