Following a long and extremely divisive campaign, Republican Donald Trump was elected to the presidency with approximately 47.7 percent of the vote and 279 confirmed Electoral College votes. It was an extremely tight race, with Democrat Hillary Clinton currently holding a small lead in the popular vote despite her clear loss in the Electoral College vote.
Ohio ultimately went for Republican Donald Trump by a comfortable margin, with Trump winning 52.05 percent to 43.51 percent for Clinton. Third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein received 3.17 percent and 0.83 percent, respectively. Approximately 69.32 percent of eligible Ohio voters turned out to vote this year, falling just shy of the 70.53 percent turnout in 2012. The vote for Trump maintains 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.
Republican Rob Portman Wins U.S. Senate Race
Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman will be returning to the U.S. Senate after holding off his Democrat challenger, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. Portman, a long-time Congressman and federal official from Cincinnati, garnered just over 58.3 percent of the vote to Strickland’s 36.9 percent. Though the race started with the candidates polling closely, Portman began pulling away in July and held a sizable lead in the polls heading into election day. Democrats had hoped to flip the Ohio seat in their effort to regain control of the upper chamber, which they lost following the 2014 election. And while the Democrats did gain one seat in Illinois, Republicans maintained their majority with 51 confirmed seats to the Democrats’ 47 seats. The Senate race in New Hampshire remains too close to call and the race in Louisiana will be decided in a run-off election in December.
Republicans Maintain Control of U.S. House
As in the rest of the nation, Republicans did well in the U.S. House races in Ohio. The current officeholders all easily kept their seats to maintain the 12 Republican to 4 Democrat split. Overall, Republicans around the country were successful in taking 235 seats and Democrats have 191 seats, with a handful of races still too close to call. • 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: Pat Tiberi (R) • 13th District: Tim Ryan (D) • 14th District: David Joyce (R) • 15th District: Steve Stivers (R) • 16th District: Jim Renacci (R).
Republicans Add to their Strong Majorities in the Ohio House and Senate
Ohio Republicans not only maintained their comfortable majority in the Ohio House, but gained a seat to bring their majority to 66 seats versus the Democrats’ 33 seats. Republican Jay Edwards was able to pick up the vacant seat currently held by Representative Debbie Phillips (D-Albany). In the Senate, the Republicans managed to pick up the seat of incumbent Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) to increase their majority to 24, with only 9 Democrat members. There will be a number of new faces in the next session as six long time members will be leaving due to term limits, including current Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina), who was elected to the House.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who ran unopposed this year, will be joined by two new faces on the Ohio Supreme Court next year. Judge Pat DeWine (R) will be replacing Justice Paul Pfeifer in January. The contest between Judges Pat Fischer (R) and John P. O’Donnell (D) for the Justice Paul Pfeifer seat remains too close to call, though Fischer has a small lead. Justices Lanzinger and Pfeifer are leaving the court due to mandatory judicial retirement age requirements. Republican Judge Pat DeWine, son of current Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, currently serves as a judge on the 1st District Court of Appeals with Judge Fischer.
Prior to joining the 1st District court, Judge DeWine spent time in private practice and on the bench for the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Republican Judge Pat Fischer currently serves as a judge on the 1st District Court of Appeals in Hamilton County. Fischer spent most of his career in private practice in Cincinnati prior to being elected to the bench in 2010. Democrat John P. O’Donnell has been serving as judge on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas since 2002. O’Donnell worked as a civil trial attorney until being elected to the bench. This was O’Donnell’s second attempt at a seat on the Supreme Court, having previously run in 2014. All numbers and counts are as of the morning of Wednesday, November 9.
Susan M. Kurz