While Ohio didn't have any big-time ballot issues in 2008, it is widely believed that a successful 2004 ballot issue that defined marriage as between a man and a woman was vital to propelling George W. Bush to victory in Ohio.
Ohio Republican Party chief Bob Bennett said he thinks the gay marriage ban is given too much credit for helping Bush win, but does say it mattered.
"It probably helped us galvanize supporters in those rural counties where there were a lot of evangelicals, particularly in Southern Ohio," he said.
Brian Rothenberg, executive director of ProgressOhio, a left-leaning policy group, said he thinks ballot issues are overrated as factors that drive turnout in a presidential race.
"It's a presidential year, and the top of the ticket drives turnout and the messaging behind it," he said. "I think the Bush voters helped the gay issue in '04, and not the other way around."
Nonetheless, the 2004 presidential election set a modern day high-water mark, with 72 percent voter turnout in Ohio -- a few points higher than in 2008, when the relatively high turnout was much discussed as a key to Obama's historic victory in the Buckeye State.
While Ohio is plain vanilla for ballot issues this year, that's not the case in several other states that experts expect to be critical in this year's election.