Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 31, 2015

Posts in "Ohio"

July 2, 2015

Top Races in 2016: The Midwest

Sen. Mark Kirk

Kirk is the most vulnerable Republican senator this cycle. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate in the Midwest Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. 

Full story

April 29, 2015

Is John Kasich in the Top Tier in 2016?

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rothenberg is expecting a Kasich 2016 bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Perpetually in motion, Kasich is a whirlwind of restless energy and is sometimes criticized for being cocky,” reads the 1996 Politics in America profile of the then-Ohio congressman.

The 1992 edition of The Almanac of American Politics described John R. Kasich as “peppery and brash, spewing forth ideas, a fair percentage of which are good and some of which even get enacted into law.”

The 2000 edition of Politics in America declared the Ohio Republican “has zeal and vision, but he also tends to run late, thrash his arms and talk in sports metaphors.” Full story

March 5, 2015

What the ‘Big Ten’ Tells Republicans They Need in 2016

Elections 2016

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished second in CPAC’s presidential straw poll. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We won’t know the 2016 Republican presidential nominee for more than a year, but we already know the 10 states — the electoral “Big Ten” — that will select the next occupant of the White House.

Because of that, we can evaluate the GOP’s general election prospects over the next 12 to 18 months by watching the party’s trek through its primary and caucus calendar. Will the Republicans select someone who can carry enough of the key 10 states to win 270 electoral votes? Full story

January 29, 2015

Why Even Democrats Love Talking About Joni Ernst

Elections 2016

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on much of anything these days, but strategists on both sides of the aisle love to talk about Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s victory.

Two years ago, Ernst was a little-known GOP state senator from Southwest Iowa. She entered the national spotlight with a memorable television ad about castrating pigs and eventually won the seat held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. Ernst continued her ascent by giving the Republicans’ State of the Union response, and she is poised to play a key role in the GOP presidential primary through the Iowa caucuses. Full story

January 27, 2015

First Look: Can Democrats Win the Senate in 2016?

Elections 2016

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For Republicans, the fight for control of the Senate in 2016 is all about playing defense.

Unlike 2014 (and 2018), the Senate races of 2016 offer few, if any, opportunities for the GOP as the election cycle begins. The map strongly favors Democrats and suggests the possibility of considerable Democratic gains. Full story

September 17, 2014

The Amazingly Static House Playing Field

Brad Hutto

Shea-Porter’s race is now rated Tossup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After a year of campaigning, television ads, a government shutdown, and a botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, the House playing field is virtually unchanged from where it was 12 months ago.

We recently updated the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings in seven House districts. Arizona’s 1st District, Maine’s 2nd District, New Hampshire’s 1st District, and New York’s 21st District all moved incrementally toward Republicans. Ohio’s 6th and 14th districts and Pennsylvania’s 8th District also moved toward the GOP but to currently Safe.

By dropping the trio of races from the list of most competitive races, the total number of competitive seats (seats that have a chance of changing partisan hands) dips to 48 seats. That is remarkably similar to last September, when we listed 49 seats on our competitive race chart. Full story

August 5, 2014

Rating Change: Ohio Governor

At the beginning of the cycle, Ohio Republican John R. Kasich looked like one of the most vulnerable governors in the country. But with just three months to go before the election, the incumbent’s prospects for re-election are getting better each day.

After some initial stumbles in office, Kasich has appeared to get his footing. And his opponent, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has had trouble getting off the ground. The Democrat hasn’t raised nearly enough money to knock off the incumbent. Full story

May 5, 2014

Beware of the Surprise House Primary Losers

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike Simpson looks like he’ll survive the epic establishment vs. anti-establishment struggle in the GOP primary in Idaho’s 2nd District. But if last cycle is any indication, the incumbents that lose primaries this year will be in low-profile races rather than high profile battles between outside groups.

In 2012, Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidt was caught off-guard in her March primary. The Republican congresswoman was in Washington, D.C., the night she lost to now-Rep. Brad Wenstrup back home in the 2nd District.

“Her unexpected loss serves as a warning for many members seeking re-election on new turf after redistricting or facing even the smallest political challenge,” wrote Roll Call’s Shira T. Center and Amanda Becker in a post-primary piece. “More importantly, Schmidt’s loss signals a still-unsettled electorate looking for a reason — any reason — to boot an incumbent from office.”

Apparently not every member reads Roll Call. But they should.

Three months later, Oklahoma Republican John Sullivan lost his primary to Jim Bridenstine in the 1st District. Sullivan wasn’t completely shocked on Election Night, but he admitted to the Associated Press that he ignored the race for too long. Even though the race engaged in the final days, it wasn’t a national race by any stretch of the matter.

Then, two more months later, Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns lost the Republican primary to large animal veterinarian Ted Yoho. It was a legitimate surprise to national race watchers and to the congressman, who had $2 million sitting in his campaign account when he lost.

Texas Democrat Silvestre Reyes also lost his primary to Beto O’Rourke. But that race received some national attention because former President Bill Clinton came to west Texas for an event for the congressman. And The Campaign for Primary Accountability, which received a disproportionate amount of national media attention, made Reyes a top target.

Pennsylvania Democrat Tim Holden’s primary loss wasn’t a surprise either, particularly if you read Shira’s piece the week before. Republican mapmakers had redrawn his district, giving him new, heavily Democratic territory in Northeast Pennsylvania, far from his Schuylkill County (Pottsville) base. He was unknown in much of the new district, which no longer resembled the politically competitive district he had represented.

I should note that I did not include a group of eight members who lost in primaries because they lost to fellow incumbents because of redistricting. Each of those races was well-covered and it was inevitable that one incumbent was going to lose.

So before Tuesday’s primaries in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, it’s possible that an incumbent such as Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones could succumb to his challenger. [Read Emily Cahn’s Roll Call story and Peter Hamby’s CNN story for a primer.] But it seems more likely that a member will lose in a race that no one is talking about yet.

March 31, 2014

Ratings Change: Ohio’s 6th District

Johnson is a Republican from Ohio. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Johnson is a Republican from Ohio. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ohio Republican Bill Johnson is an unassuming House Member who was elected in the GOP wave of 2010. His 53 percent re-election total has Democrats believing that a conservative Democrat would have a fighting chance against Johnson in the Republican-leaning 6th District.

While Jennifer Garrison’s profile as a moderate Democrat might be a good fit for the district, some of her stances on social issues have put her at odds with liberal Democrats across the state, and that could make fundraising more difficult for her. Full story

By Nathan L. Gonzales Posted at 12:50 p.m.
House, Ohio

November 4, 2013

Two House Candidates Who Stumbled Over Simple Questions

Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally is personable and engaging, and her 2,454-vote loss to Democratic Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona’s 2nd District in 2012 demonstrates that she has appeal as a congressional candidate.

But none of that exempts the 47-year-old Republican, who is running again this cycle and oozes confidence about her prospects, from answering an important question: How would she have voted on the compromise that ultimately ended the government shutdown in October?

And yet, though I asked that question repeatedly in an Oct. 29 interview, McSally did her best to bob and weave, clearly intent on not giving a “yes” or a “no.” Instead, I heard a lot of baloney about not wanting to look backward and only wanting to look ahead. Full story

By Stuart Rothenberg Posted at 5:11 p.m.
Arizona, House, Ohio

October 28, 2013

6 Democratic House Candidates With Plenty of Potential

Erin Bilbray

Bilbray will try to unseat Heck in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In this political environment, not having an extensive legislative record can be an asset. Not surprisingly then, three of six Democratic House candidates I interviewed recently have never before sought elective office, and a fourth was elected as a judge, not a legislator. (I will discuss a seventh Democratic hopeful, Martha Robertson, in a separate column.)

Considered as a group, the half-dozen hopefuls deserve to be mentioned in any discussion of Democratic House takeover opportunities in 2014. The only question is how many of them will continue to be in the conversation one year from today. Full story

October 2, 2013

Ratings Change in 3 Ohio House Races

Every four years, Ohio revels in the spotlight of the battle for the presidency. But, after the last round of redistricting, the Buckeye State is slipping further into irrelevance in the fight for the House.

Now, just two Ohio districts rank in the top 50 of most competitive House races across the country. That’s a far cry from 2010, when a half-dozen Ohio districts were competitive.

Full story

By Nathan L. Gonzales Posted at 9:30 a.m.
DCCC, House, NRCC, Ohio

September 20, 2013

House Strategists Continue Search for 2014 Candidates

My colleague Kyle Trygstad nearly declared the end to the Senate recruitment season recently, but House strategists on both sides of the aisle still have their work cut out for them.

With a little more than a year before Election Day, Republican and Democratic operatives are searching for quality candidates in more than a handful of districts. Both sides want as many offensive opportunities as possible to keep the other side pinned down in their own territory.

Down 17 seats, Democrats need more GOP takeover opportunities to make up for any losses and so they don’t have to win all of the competitive seats to get back to the majority next November. Full story

September 10, 2013

And for John Kasich’s Next Act in Politics …

Kasich might have other political ambitions. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kasich might have other political ambitions. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

We will know in a little more than a year whether John R. Kasich has a second act, or even a third one, in politics. But don’t be surprised if he does.

The Republican governor of Ohio looked like a political defeat waiting to happen in November 2011, after a state ballot measure that he pushed limiting union rights went down to a crushing 62 percent to 38 percent defeat.

But Kasich’s poll numbers have been rising ever since, and Buckeye State insiders believe that the former boy wonder of the Ohio GOP has bigger plans for himself if he wins a second term next year. They believe that the governor — and former nine-term House member — will mount another presidential run. Full story

August 6, 2013

RATINGS CHANGE: Ohio’s 6th District

Johnson has a new challenger. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Johnson has a new challenger. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ohio may not be a wasteland for competitive congressional races after all.

Prior to the 2012 elections, Republicans did a masterful job redrawing the Buckeye State’s congressional lines in order to minimize takeover opportunities for either party.

But in Ohio’s 6th District, former state Rep. Jennifer Garrison looks like the likely Democratic nominee after state Sen. Lou Gentile declined to run. Harrison would face Republican Rep. Bill Johnson in the general election. Full story

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