Electoral votes: 20
2004 result: Bush 51%, Kerry 49%
2000 result: Bush 50%, Gore 46%
Most recent Democratic win (1996): Clinton 47%, Dole 41%, Perot 11%
African American percentage: 12.0% (national average is 12.8%)
Link to polls in Real Clear Politics
Ohio gets the credit or blame (depending on one's point of view) for reelecting President Bush in 2004.
No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio. Indeed, many of that party's nominees in its early years were from Ohio, for that very reason.
The Republican from Arizona has a slight edge in the Ohio polls. But the state is very much a toss-up.
It seems as though the historical pattern will hold, in that it's difficult to put together a McCain victory scenario without Ohio's 20 electoral votes.