How did Bush win Ohio? See this Wall Street Journal. The piece is not perfect, but it’s a start. Note especially the chart: Kerry lost 12 of the 14 rural Ohio counties that had more than 10% job loss since 2000. What was critical is the GOP ground war. It worked perfectly. "In 2000, the Bush team had recruited 88 county volunteers to conduct turnout operations. This time, they signed up more than 1,000 precinct-level turnout officials. In 2000, the Bush-Cheney campaign volunteers made a little more than 600,000 get-out-the-vote telephone calls. This time, they made 3.9 million, and 1.8 million of them were made in the last five days."
On whether not not the high turnout helped Bush nationally, see this from Patrick Ruffini. "The most compelling evidence for a pro-Bush shift in turnout comes from re-running the election using the 2004 percentages for each candidate and the 2000 vote totals. If the states had turned out the way they did in 2000, Bush would have received 50.71% of the vote to Kerry’s 48.31% -- a 0.6% shift to Kerry. The more granular you get, the more you should expect to see the turnout effect amplified. And lo and behold, by re-processing the results with the 2000 turnout at the county level, Bush gets 50.59% to Kerry’s 48.43% -- a further quarter point shift to Kerry. (And we haven’t even gotten down to the precinct level, or to the behavior of the individual voter within a precinct.) All told, the benefit the President received from this particular turnout pattern in 2004 is probably at least a point. Incidentally, that’s about the same as the gap between the final polls and the results.
Political scientists are going to have rewrite the book on this one. Broken glass Republicans outnumbered broken glass Democrats – despite everything the media establishment held sacred and holy about this election. There is no hidden, nonvoting Democratic majority. There is no cap on the number of people willing to vote Republican. GOP mobilization efforts work just as well with high turnout. Next time you see a long line at the polls, smile."