Post-Election Report

Government Relations & Legislation
November 4, 2020
 

Donald Trump Takes Ohio; Ballots Outstanding in MI, PA and WI

Ohio ultimately went for Republican Donald Trump by a comfortable 8 point margin, the same as in 2016, with Trump winning 53.36% to 45.19% for Biden. However, as of this writing, there is no winner in the race as a whole. Nine states have yet to be called – Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. While Trump is likely to hold Alaska, Georgia and North Carolina and Biden to hold Arizona, Maine and Nevada, the “Blue Wall” states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin still have many early votes to count.

As in many states around the country, this was a record-breaking year for early voting in Ohio. By end of voting on Monday, 3.4 million Ohio voters cast their absentee ballots or voted early. Prior to this election, Ohio had never surpassed 2 million total votes during the early voting period. Despite record-breaking early voting, actual turnout did not break records, basically matching the turnout in 2016, with 71.35%.

If President Trump is able to prevail, his win would maintain Ohio’s streak of voting for the winning candidate in presidential elections. It is the longest streak in the nation, with Ohio having voted for the winner in every election since 1964.

Incumbents Keep Their Seats in Ohio; Democrats Keep U.S. House, While Republicans Keep Control of Senate With Smaller Majority

All incumbent House members were able to keep their seats. Despite predictions of a loss, Representative Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) was able to defeat Kate Schroder by a comfortable margin of 51.95% to 44.55%. This leaves Ohio’s delegation at 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats serving in the U.S. House. Neither of Ohio’s U.S. Senate seats were up this year.

  • 1st District: Steve Chabot (R)
  • 2nd District: Brad Wenstrup (R)
  • 3rd District: Joyce Beatty (D)
  • 4th District: Jim Jordan (R)
  • 5th District: Bob Latta (R)
  • 6th District: Bill Johnson (R)
  • 7th District: Bob Gibbs (R)
  • 8th District: Warren Davidson (R)
  • 9th District: Marcy Kaptur (D)
  • 10th District: Mike Turner (R)
  • 11th District: Marcia Fudge (D)
  • 12th District: Troy Balderson (R)
  • 13th District: Tim Ryan (D)
  • 14th District: David Joyce (R)
  • 15th District: Steve Stivers (R)
  • 16th District: Anthony Gonzalez (R)

Overall, Democrats look to keep the majority in the U.S. House, though with diminished numbers. To gain control of the Senate, Democrats needed to pick up four seats but only have three potential pickups at this writing, with Republicans looking to take two currently Democratic seats. This would leave Republicans with a one-seat majority.

Republicans Gain Seats in Ohio House; Ohio Senate Race Within Recount Margin

Republicans in the Ohio House managed to add to their majority by picking up a net of three new seats currently held by Democrats. Overall, four Democratic seats were lost in northeast and eastern Ohio – Representative Randi Clites, Representative Gil Blair and the open 96th and 99th District seats, while Representative Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) lost in suburban Cleveland. All wins are outside of the automatic recount margin and would increase the Republican majority to 64 – 35.

In the Ohio Senate, Senator Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta) has lost his seat to challenger Sandra O’Brien. Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) is currently hanging on to her seat by 41 votes. This result will trigger an automatic recount, which occurs when the margin is less than 0.25%. If these results hold, the Republicans will increase to a majority of 25 to 8.

Democrats Gain a Seat on the Ohio Supreme Court

Judge Jennifer Brunner of the 10th District Appellate Court was able to defeat incumbent Justice Judi French to become the third Democrat on the state’s high court. Brunner, who has also previously served as a judge on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and as Secretary of State from 2007-2011, defeated Justice French 55.24% to 44.76%.

Justice Sharon Kennedy kept her seat in a race against Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell by a vote of 55.06% to 44.94%. Justice Kennedy was first elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2012 and re-elected in 2014.


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