In case you missed it… The McClatchy D.C. bureau this weekend highlighted how Ohio Democrats are making gains in one of the reddest parts of the Buckeye State — Warren County, which is a suburb of Cincinnati in southwest Ohio.
That sea change could be bad news for Rep. Steve Chabot, who last month “thanked the Ohio General Assembly for redrawing the boundaries of the First Congressional District” to include Warren County. If Chabot can’t run up the score in reliably Republican Warren County, his re-election prospects against Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval could be bleak.
In related news — Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved Ohio’s First Congressional District from “likely Republican” to “leans Republican” last week, noting, “The national environment and history suggest Democrats are positioned to make gains.”
- But in 2017, in [Warren County], Democrats won more than a dozen local contests. And now, as the midterm election cycle heats up, Democrats there say the enthusiasm is only intensifying. It’s a reflection of the broader Democratic energy that is unfolding at every level of government in the Trump era, in some of the most traditionally Republican counties in the country — yet another worrisome sign for Republicans bracing for a difficult midterm year.
- “If Republicans don’t look at this and take it as a warning sign, they’re burying their heads in the sand,” said one Ohio Republican operative familiar with the county, granted anonymity to candidly assess the GOP’s landscape. “You cannot look at that many Democratic victories in that much of a reliably Republican area and conclude anything other than, there’s an overall problem for Republicans.”
- The excitement generated by those unexpected victories has sparked more interest in future races. According to the Ohio Democratic Party, an unusually high number of Democrats are now planning runs for precinct executive positions in Warren County – low-profile roles, but a sign of grassroots enthusiasm—and the GOP-held First District of Ohio, which includes Warren County and other corners of moderate suburban Cincinnati, is also increasingly considered competitive.
- “It shows, at every level, from statehouse to Congress and now the precinct level, Democrats are raising their hands and saying, ‘I’m ready to go,’” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper.
- Bethe Goldenfield, the chair of the Warren County Democratic Party, said that at least a few disillusioned Republicans have reached out to her, expressing alarm over the polarizing direction of their party under Trump, whose hardline, controversial style has alienated some moderates.
- “I just got off the phone with a woman an hour ago who wants to become involved in the party,” she said in a recent interview. “It’s about Donald Trump. She’s never voted Democratic in her life.”
- But back in Warren County, Monroe, the GOP chairman there, didn’t dispute that Democrats are energized. “Democrats are fired up in the suburbs of Cincinnati,” he acknowledged.
McClatchy D.C. (Katie Glueck): ‘Canaries in the coal mine:’ GOP growing anxious about Dem victories as midterms near
WVXU (Howard Wilkinson): Chabot’s District Goes From “Likely” Republican To “Leans” Republican