On the surface, Ohio looks like an island of calm after the turbulent 2020 election: Donald Trump won the state by 8.07 points in 2016 and won it again by 8.02 points in 2020.
But underneath those stable results, the state saw significant swings at the county level that suggest forces are at work remaking the electorate.
Delaware County, just north of Columbus, the state capital, moved away from Mr. Trump by 9 percentage points. Pike County, 90 minutes to the south, moved toward him by 12 points.
Both have voted for the Republican candidate for president in every election since 2000, including 2020. But stark demographic differences between them illustrate larger political shifts in Ohio and beyond.
Delaware County is growing, and Pike is shrinking. More than half the adult population in Delaware has a college degree. In Pike, the figure is about 13%. Delaware’s median household income is well over double that of Pike. The population in both counties is mostly white, though Pike’s is more so. And in the past few elections the two have changed places. Delaware, once solidly GOP, voted for Mr. Trump by less than 7 percentage points, and Pike—once a hotly contested battleground that Republican Mitt Romney won by a single vote in 2012—gave Mr. Trump a 49-point margin of victory in 2020.