If we use Republican blue/red map logic, then despite the fact that Paul Hackett received only 48 % to Jean Schmidt's 52%, Paul Hackett won. Just look at the map of Ohio' s Second Congressional District. Schmidt only won Clermont county as well as the small slivers of Hamilton and Butler counties which lie within the 2nd District. Hackett, on the other hand, won Brown, Adams, Scioto and Pike counties, approximately 70% of the 2nd District's land area. The problem that Hackett had was that the areas that he carried by large majorities do not have very many people in them.
The Republicans have been pulling out those tired infantile maps that break down the states or counties by blue and red which show wide swaths of red for years. The Sean Hannitys and Rush Limbaughs say "look at the map, most of America is Republican." The false premise of their argument of course is that Wyoming's 97,914 square miles of area makes it more important than Connecticut's 5,000 square miles despite the fact that Connecticut's population of 3,409,549 is almost seven times larger than Wyoming's 493,782. Cows don't vote. Acres don't vote.
The one thing that the maps show is that the electoral college puts Democrats are at a disadvantage because several small population states (which tend to vote Republican), each with a minimum of three electoral votes get more votes than a large population state with the same population as the agregate of the several small states.
What I consider a very encouraging sign is the fact that Hackett won the four most rural counties in the district which Rob Portman won by margins of 40-50 percent. Maybe the days of the rural-urban alliances of the twenties and thirties can come back. Hackett seems to have struck a cord with his progressive but pro-gun positions. This is the new model for winning in rural districts. Paul Hackett won the rural vote by a very large margin, but lost in the affluent suburbs.