Trump’s path is much narrower if he loses Ohio. Early tallies in the state give Biden reason to hope.
With more than 60 percent of the vote total for Ohio reported, some Democrats are cautiously optimistic about Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s chances in the state, a critical bellwether. Democrats are paying particularly close attention to several counties in the state, including Delaware County north of Columbus and Mahoning County on the Pennsylvania border, both of which — at this stage — look more promising than expected for Mr. Biden.
“We are liking what we see in Delaware County,” a spokeswoman for Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said in text message on Tuesday night. “OH could be the state that puts Biden over the top.”
Mr. Biden held a last-minute rally in Cleveland on Monday, a stop that confused some Democrats who thought he should be spending his last day before the election in other swing states. Since 2016, when President Trump won the state by eight percentage points, Democrats had largely written off the state as solidly red. But Mr. Brown has continued to encourage Mr. Biden to contest the state.
A strong showing for Mr. Biden in Ohio would bode well for his performance in the so-called blue wall of northern battleground states that traditionally voted for Democrats before flipping to Mr. Trump, especially Pennsylvania. If the president loses Ohio, his path to victory narrows considerably.
Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, a Democrat, said Mr. Biden’s 18-point lead in Montgomery County, with 62 percent of estimated votes counted, was encouraging.
“The models I saw for us, it was 49-43, so we overperformed that,” she said. “The question of the night: Will the suburban ladies rule?”
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