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A Bernie Sanders supporter shares a quiet moment with himself at Pigskin after accepting Sanders' loss to Hillary Clinton in Ohio's Democratic primary on March 15. 

Clinton comes out as top runner in Ohio's Democratic race

Hillary Clinton won Ohio with about 56 percent of the votes statewide.

For the second time since 2008, the state of Ohio came through for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary election Tuesday night.

Clinton won about 57 percent of the votes statewide, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) won about 43 percent of the votes.

However, Sanders swept Athens County, capturing about 61 percent of the votes. Clinton took about 38 percent of the votes.

“We are moving to securing the Democratic party nomination and winning this election in November,” Clinton said about her win while speaking to supporters in Florida.

Ohio has 143 delegates in the Democratic primary. For a candidate to win the nomination, 2,383 are needed.

“I think a lot of people look at Hillary Clinton as perhaps one of the most qualified individuals ever to run for president and is somebody that would be ready on day one to be in the oval office and lead the country,” John Haseley, chair of the Athens County Democratic Party, said.

Clinton won 83 of Ohio’s 88 counties in 2008. President Barack Obama won counties housing Ohio’s major cities — Cuyahoga County, Franklin County, Hamilton County, Montgomery County and Delaware County, just north of Franklin.

This year, Clinton handily won those counties.

Clinton received about 63 percent of the votes in Cuyahoga County, about 59 percent of the votes in Hamilton County and about 55 percent of the votes in Franklin County.

“We’re seeing in a lot of places where Obama did well in ‘08, Clinton is now doing well in 2016,” Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sobato’s Crystal Ball for the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and an OU and Post alumnus, said.

In 2008, support for Obama among black voters eclipsed support among black voters for Clinton. In an Ohio poll conducted before the primary, Public Policy Pollingindicated Clinton has more support among black voters this year than Sanders does.

According to the same poll, though, Sanders, who considers himself to be a democratic socialist, has been more popular among younger voters.

Sanders has received strong support from college students, and Kondik said part of Sanders’ appeal to young people can be attributed to him being the most liberal candidate.

“I also wonder if there’s a desire amongst some young people to move on from the Clinton dynasty,” Kondik said.

While anti-establishment politics has come to the forefront of the Republican race, Conor Fogarty, president of Ohio University's Students for Liberty, said Sanders serves as another example of an anti-establishment candidate.

"Bernie has long been sort of at odds with the Democratic establishment," Fogarty said.

OU Students for Liberty does not endorse any particular candidates.

Haseley said Sanders addresses concerns among young people, particularly with issues of student debt and wage disparities.

Kondik said perhaps the socialist label isn’t as “politically poisonous” as it used to be, and younger voters are more receptive to the idea of socialism than older voters.

“Today’s youngest voters don’t have any living memory of the Cold War,” Kondik said. ”They don’t have any living memory of communism being the United States’ ideological enemy throughout the second half of the 20th century.”

Jerry Miller, expert in political communication and associate director of undergraduate studies in OU's School of Communication Studies, said traditional politicians, such as Clinton and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have more support in Ohio.

While Sanders is considered the more “exciting” candidate, Miller said, Clinton is more measured and purposeful.

“The excitement doesn’t always equal getting things done,” Miller said.

Clinton will likely be the nominee, Kondik said, and she seems to have more support among superdelegates, who are usually party leaders and elected officials who can give support to the candidate of their choosing, regardless of how their states voted.

“Whether a Democrat is a supporter of Bernie Sanders or a supporter of Hillary Clinton, I think Democrats are and should be proud of the way both of our candidates are conducting themselves and the kinds of campaigns they’re running and the way they’re focusing on the issues that I think Americans really care about,” Haseley said.


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