On the GOP retirement potential list was former House Small Business Committee chairman Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati), who was first elected in 1994. The Congressman lost his seat in a 2008 Obama-wave upset but rebounded to win again two years later. Yesterday, Rep. Chabot formally announced that he will seek re-election next year. He faced a difficult campaign last year but came away with a 51-47% victory against highly touted Hamilton County Clerk of Courts incumbent Aftab Pureval (D).
Rep. Chabot can expect another competitive challenge in 2020. At this point, healthcare company executive Kate Schroder and Iraq War veteran Nikki Foster are the two announced Democratic candidates. The Ohio primary is scheduled for March 10th, with a candidate filing deadline on December 11th.
Change Research, Emerson College, and the Public Policy Institute of California tested three major states for the Democratic presidential primaries and found razor thin margins in two. The exception, Arizona (Change Research; 9/27-28; 396 AZ likely Democratic primary voters), finds Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) topping the field with 35% support, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with 19%, former Vice President Joe Biden’s 15%, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg recording a 13% preference figure. According to these numbers, Arizona is one of Mr. Biden’s weakest states while Mr. Buttigieg returns to double digits.
The two others are virtual three-way ties. The Public Policy Institute of California (9/16-25; 692 CA likely Democratic primary voters) sees Sen. Warren barely in first place with 23% of the responding sample, compared to Mr. Biden’s 22%, and Sen. Sanders’ 21%. The result portends another disappointing performance for Sen. Kamala Harris in her own state as she records only 8% support.
Little polling has been done in Ohio, but Emerson College reversed the trend and just completed a test of the Buckeye State Democratic electorate (9/29-10/2; 353 OH likely Democratic primary voters). They also find a close contest with Mr. Biden claiming first place with 29%, and Sens. Sanders and Warren nipping at his heels with 27 and 21% preference factors.
Monmouth and Quinnipiac Universities released new state polls in places where we haven’t yet seen much data. Monmouth (7/18-22; 405 SC likely Democratic primary voters) tested the South Carolina electorate, site of the fourth nomination event scheduled for February 29th. Here, as we’re seeing in many of the tested southern states, former Vice President Joe Biden posts a substantial advantage, leading 39-12-10-9-5% over Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Quinnipiac released what may be the first poll of the Ohio electorate (7/17-22; 556 OH Democratic registered voters) in anticipation of this state’s March 10th primary, and also finds Mr. Biden enjoying a healthy lead. Here, the former VP registers 31% support followed by Sens. Sanders, Harris, Warren, and Mayor Buttigieg who record 14, 14, 13, and 6% preference, respectively.
As we covered last week, the US Supreme Court released their rulings on the Maryland and North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases and whether asking about a person’s citizenship status can be placed on the 2020 census questionnaire.
On the redistricting question, the high court definitively ruled that the partisan gerrymandering question will not be adjudicated by the federal court system. Looking practically at the live cases the SCOTUS’ action affects, the redistricting battles in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin are essentially dead and their current congressional district boundaries will remain in place through the last election of this decade, in 2020.
With Democrats controlling the North Carolina state Supreme Court, it may be possible that the Tarheel State lines are redrawn because of partisan gerrymandering but whether a new case can get to them in time to affect 2020 remains questionable. Unlike the US Supreme Court, the North Carolina high panel does not have the authority to bring a case up before the lower courts rule.
The citizenship question is a bit more convoluted. The court ruled that the government has the right to add this question to the census, but they are sending this particular case back to the Department of Commerce because of potential motivational evidence relating to placing the citizenship query on the questionnaire.
Turning to the census ruling, though the SCOTUS made clear the government does have the right to ask the question, the result of returning it to the Commerce Department likely means the citizenship question will not be on the census questionnaire. Though the Trump Administration may try to stretch the calendar, it is probable that Commerce will not be able to comply with the high court’s directive before the 2020 census must be fielded.
While it appears a certainty that Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval (D), who lost to Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati), 51-47%, will not return for a re-match, two Democrats came forward yesterday to announce their candidacies.
Kate Schroder, a Vice President for the Clinton Health Access Initiative, which is affiliated with the Clinton Foundation, sent communications to associates saying she is resigning her position to run for Congress. Also, yesterday, engineer and Air Force Iraq War veteran Nikki Foster said she will be entering the Democratic congressional primary.
Coming off a tough 2018 race that he won when most Republican incumbents in competitive races were losing, Rep. Chabot will be rated as the favorite to again hold the seat next year.
At the end of last week, the US Supreme Court granted the Republicans’ motion to stay redistricting orders in Michigan and Ohio that would have forced the legislature to re-draw the respective states’ congressional maps before the 2020 election. The move could be a prelude to three important high court rulings scheduled for release at some point in June: those on the Maryland and North Carolina redistricting cases, and the constitutionality of including a citizenship question on the upcoming census questionnaire.
A federal three-judge panel struck down the Ohio congressional district boundaries, ruling that the map is a political gerrymander. The Buckeye State now joins a long list of places dealing with similar decisions that have already been rendered in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The real action, however, is before the US Supreme Court, where potentially definitive binding rulings on the North Carolina and Maryland cases could remand all of the pending cases with clearer direction as to what constitutes gerrymandering. The high court decisions are expected before June ends.
Youngstown, Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan announced his presidential effort yesterday as predicted, calling himself a progressive who supports free enterprise. He also says his campaign will be able to reach many of the rural and working class voters with whom Mr. Ryan claims his party has stopped communicating.
Joining the presidential contest may not immediately end his congressional career, however. Under Ohio election law, individuals can appear simultaneously on the ballot for more than one political office. Therefore, Rep. Ryan says, in addition to filing to compete in the Ohio Democratic presidential primary, currently scheduled for March 10, 2020, he will also re-file for his seat in the House of Representatives.
Yesterday, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Youngstown) again confirmed that he is considering entering the presidential campaign but also is not abandoning his congressional post. Rep. Ryan said if he does decide to enter the presidential race he will continue to file for re-election. Such a move is consistent with Ohio election law that allows candidates to run simultaneously for more than one office.
Eastern Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Youngstown), who has been considered as an outlier presidential candidate, maintained again a day ago that he may enter the national race and will decide within the next several weeks. Mr. Ryan has toyed before with running for Governor, Lt. Governor, and US Senate, without pulling the trigger. He did, however, challenge Rep. Nancy Pelosi for the Democratic Leader position in 2016 and lost badly, attracting just 1/3 support among his party colleagues.
Rep. Ryan would have little to no chance of winning the party nomination, but he might be a factor in the Buckeye State primary that is scheduled for March 10, 2020. He also has the advantage, under Ohio election law, of being able to run simultaneously for President and re-election to his House seat.
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