Ohio is an interesting place. Much of the area is rural to small town, but vastly more of the population resides in larger towns and cities. The northern part of the state trends liberal, especially in the northeast corner, and the southern part of the state is very conservative and not unlike Kentucky. Columbus is in the center and is a fairly liberal city but with some markedly conservative suburbs, and especially exurbs. There are counties in western Ohio north of Dayton where almost zero non-white people reside and urban counties with 20-40% non-white population. It's kind of a microcosm of the country as a whole.
The big question for Election Day was whether the urban (and, to a lesser extent, suburban) voters would show up in large enough numbers to compensate for the rural voters.
While vote tallying is only 97% complete, it looks like we saw a slightly lower turnout this year than in 2004. While Bush beat Kerry with 2.8 million to 2.7 million votes, Obama is beating McCain with 2.6 million to 2.4 million votes. Population growth is pretty flat in Ohio but not decreasing, so I would have to assume that while a bunch of new voters showed up at the polls, a number of other voters stayed home. I've got to wonder who they were. Perhaps the marriage amendment (against gay marriage) in 2004 brought out conservative voters who rarely vote and didn't show up this time?
Looking at the county-by-county map, many results were predictable and a few were not. As expected, Franklin county (Columbus), Montgomery county (Dayton), Cuyahoga county (Cleveland) and almost the entire NE corner of the state (Akron, Canton, Youngstown), and Athens county (Ohio University) went blue. Interestingly, Hamilton county (Cincinnati) also went blue. Cincinnati is a very conservative city, and although it has a non-white population in the 40% range, the county went for Bush in 2004. Overall, Obama won 21 counties vs. the 16 won by Kerry in 2004. His biggest gains were along Lake Erie and in Cincinnati.
Exit polls showed Obama overwhelmingly won the vote of people living in cities and towns of >50,000 people (70%-28%) and narrowly won the suburban vote (51-48%) but lost the rural vote (43-54%).
Critical demographics for Obama included winning 54% of the women's vote, 63% of the 18-29 vote (McCain only won the 65+ vote category), 97% of the black vote, and 57% of the vote from families with total income < $ 100,000 per year.
On the Bradley effect, 54% of voters said that race was not a factor at all in their decision, and the voters who considered it an important factor broke for ... Obama.
On the PUMA effect, 81% of Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton in the primary election voted for Obama.