Document Type



Ohio and Michigan are demographically similar states whose politics have diverged since 2016. This research aims to explain why these two Midwestern states have taken such different political paths in recent years. A comparative case study is used to examine a number of possible explanations. The results of this research show that institutional factors such as registration and voting laws, redistricting processes, and ballot measures have contributed to the political divergence of Ohio and Michigan. Further, data on policy preferences are compared to show that the differences between the states are not the result of different policy preferences among their citizens. This research concludes with a discussion of other possible factors and the implications of the findings on political parties and electoral competition in Ohio.