Michael Dawson, an expert on Ohio election statistics, offered other examples of the breadth of Trump’s victory. The president ranked in the top 10 of best-ever Republican performances in 61 of Ohio’s 88 counties. In 38 counties, he had the best percentage of any Republican nominee dating back 10 elections. His victory margin in northwest Ohio was third best of any Republican ever. And with his “America First” message, he lost heavily Democratic northeast Ohio by the second smallest percentage of any Republican nominee.
Trump has turned the state’s Republican Party upside down, which has left Republican Gov. John Kasich almost a man without a party in his own state. Kasich, of course, lost the GOP nomination to Trump in 2016, boycotted the arena at the GOP convention in Cleveland and ever since has been a critic of the president — and a possible 2020 challenger.
The contours of Ohio’s new politics will be on national display over the coming days, beginning with the president’s Saturday visit to Cleveland. The trip comes at the end of a week of controversy for the president that, if his appearance at the National Rifle Association on Friday is any indication, has only hardened the support among his base.