In what appears to be a veiled attempt to keep his Youngstown anchored congressional seat intact in the face of Ohio losing another seat in the next reapportionment, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren) announced yesterday that he will not challenge Gov. Mike DeWine (R) or Sen. Rob Portman (R) next year and is not looking for a Biden Administration appointment. Mr. Ryan was briefly in the 2020 presidential race but dropped out when it became apparent that his national campaign had no political legs.
He further signaled that he would remain in the House assuming the Republicans do not eliminate his seat in the next redistricting. Republicans will be in full control of congressional redistricting and will decide which seat is eliminated from the 16-member delegation when reapportionment reduces the state to 15 districts.
It is more likely that the loss will come from the Republican side, however, since it would be difficult to eliminate one of the Democratic seats since the latter party currently controls only four. Taking a Democratic seat would likely make several Republican seats vulnerable in a general election, so it is probable they will eliminate a GOP district in order to keep an 11-4 split in their favor.
Change Research reports conducting a series of online polls from Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 in various congressional districts. They are showing virtual tie scores in several toss-up districts heading into today’s voting:
AR-2: Rep. French Hill (R) vs. St. Sen. Joyce Elliott (D)
IN-5: Ex-St. Rep. Christina Hale (D) vs. St. Sen. Victoria Spartz (R)
MO-2: Rep. Ann Wagner (R) vs. St. Sen. Jill Schupp (D)
NE-2: Rep. Don Bacon (R) vs. Kara Eastman (D)
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) vs. Dana Balter (D)
OH-1: Rep. Steve Chabot (R) vs. Kate Schroder (D)
OK-5: Rep. Kendra Horn (D) vs. St. Sen. Stephanie Bice (R)
Ohio’s 12th District produced both a very tight special and general election in the 2018 election cycle, both in favor of Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville). The 2020 race hasn’t attracted much national attention, but a new Public Policy Polling survey (10/14-15; 818 OH-12 registered voters; interactive response system) finds the Congressman holding only a 48-44% edge over Democratic nominee Alaina Schearer, a marketing firm CEO.
Every election year, campaigns that don’t receive a lot of national attention often become competitive races. In the Dayton area, veteran Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton) finds himself only leading law school graduate Desiree Tims (D), 49-45% according to a Garin Hart Yang Research Group poll for the Tims campaign (10/15-18; 400 OH-10 likely voters; live interview). Both candidates had raised approximately $1.5 million through September 30th.
The Ohio legislature is sending Gov. Mike DeWine (R) a bill that will curtail his legal authority over elections. The bill, passed on party line votes, would require legislative approval to change election procedures. It is a unique situation to see a Governor’s party lining up wholly against him on an issue, while the opposition party is wholly in support of the state chief executive regarding his election authority.
In March, Gov. DeWine unilaterally canceled the state primary, moving it three months in the future as a COVID-19 response. The pending legislation, if law at that time, would have required the Governor to obtain legislative approval for making such a move. It is probable the Republicans will have enough strength to override a veto if Mr. DeWine ultimately rejects the proposal.
Democratic nominee Kate Schroder just released her internal campaign poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (6/29-7/2; 605 OH-1 likely general election voters) that finds another competitive contest developing for Cincinnati Congressman Steve Chabot (R). The ballot test finds the Congressman leading, 50-48%. In 2018, he defeated Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, 51-47%. Mr. Chabot was first elected in 1994 but lost the seat in 2008. He regained it in 2010, and subsequently won four more elections. He remains the favorite for 2020, but we will again see an aggressive campaign in this part of southwest Ohio.
Three polls from key 2020 presidential states were released yesterday and yielded rather predictable results. In Wisconsin, Marquette Law School released their quarterly statewide survey (5/3-7; 811 WI registered voters) and found former Vice President Joe Biden edging President Trump, 46-43%. In Ohio, Emerson College (5/8-10; 725 OH registered voters) sees the President topping Mr. Biden, 51-49%, in a poll where all respondents were pushed to make a choice. In the Lone Star State of Texas, Emerson (5/8-10; 800 TX registered voters) gives the President a 52-48% advantage.
Healthcare company executive Kate Schroder defeated engineer and Air Force Reserve officer Nikki Foster, 68-32%, in the Cincinnati anchored 1st Congressional District primary election last night. Ms. Schroder now advances into the general against veteran Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) who was first elected in 1994 but lost the seat in 2008. He came back in the 2010 election and again looks to face a competitive challenge this year. In 2018, Mr. Chabot defeated Hamilton Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, 51-47%.
Four-term Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) easily defeated former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official Morgan Harper in last night’s Democratic primary. Mr. Harper raised more than $800,000 for his campaign and was clearly a serious candidate. But, Ms. Beatty, who was first elected to the House in 2012, was able to win with a substantial 68-32% victory margin. She will have little trouble in the general election and is a lock to win another term in November now that her re-nomination is secured.
The originally scheduled March 17th Ohio primary concludes today, and mostly through the mail. All ballots are due into the government offices by close of business today, meaning we will see nominees chosen for all 16 of the state’s congressional districts.
Each of the 16 House incumbents are running for re-election, but only one has a significant primary challenge: Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus). She faces former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official Morgan Harper who had raised more than $771,000 for his challenge campaign at the end of March. Rep. Beatty, however, attracted over $1.8 million.
Primary battles are occurring in most districts for the right to challenge an incumbent in the general election. The most interesting may be in the southwestern Ohio 1st District where two well-funded Democratic candidates, healthcare company executive Kate Schroder and engineer Nikki Foster, oppose each other for the opportunity of challenging veteran Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) in the Fall campaign.
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