December 5, 2020

Swing state status: The 2020 election in the buckeye state

The 2020 Election is a little over two weeks away and there is a lot going on in Ohio. Oddly enough neither Senate seats are up for election this year. But, on top of the hotly contested presidential race, all 16 congressional seats, multiple Ohio Supreme Court seats and other local races are on the ballot this November. 

Ohio is one of the most heavily gerrymandered states in the country. Seeing as that is the case, there is only one true “toss up” race for the congressional races. That toss up is in Ohio’s 1st congressional district. Republican incumbent Steve Chabot had a tough race back in 2018 but he ended up winning his election by 4 points. This year it is likely to be even closer. His Democratic challenger is Kate Schroeder, a healthcare executive. Recent polls show that the two are neck and neck headed into the final stretch of this election. 

Ohio’s 1st congressional is located just outside of Cincinnati. The race has more importance than just deciding who will represent Ohio’s 1st; the race could have implications on the presidential election. Monday October 12th, presidential candidate Joe Biden made two campaign stops. One of those was in Cincinnati. 

President Trump won Ohio by eight points in 2016. The race is much tighter in 2020. One reason for this is because suburbs in Ohio are turning more and more blue. This is especially true in the suburbs of Cincinnati, right in the heart of district 1. 

Unfortunately, because Ohio is gerrymandered as much as it is, most of the other 15 congressional races are rather easy to predict. It is likely that eleven of the remaining districts will go to Republicans and that the other four will go to Democrats. Ohio’s capital city where Capital University is located is a part of district 3. That district is very likely to be won by the incumbent Democratic Congresswoman, Joyce Beatty. 

Like usual, the race for the White House goes straight through Ohio. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. And for the last generation, no president has won the White House without winning Ohio. 

The race is extremely close in Ohio. Fivethirtyeight currently has Trump and Biden in a statistical tie in the bellwether state. While most pundits favor Trump to win Ohio, recent trends have Biden gaining in Ohio. Trump is favored to win the buckeye state because he has to win the buckeye state. If Ohio is called early for Biden, it is all but over. There is no foreseeable path to the White House for Trump in which Joe Biden wins Ohio. There are many paths for victory for both Vice President Biden and for President Trump. For Biden, winning Ohio would be nice but it is not necessary in order for him to win the presidency. Trump, on the other hand, cannot afford to lose in Ohio. If Trump is unable to win Ohio’s 18 electoral votes, the chances of Trump winning are extremely small. It is for this reason that Trump is favored despite the statistical tie. Trump is likely to focus more attention on Ohio than Biden between now and election day. 

As previously mentioned, there are also Ohio Supreme Court races as well as local elections occurring. As important as the presidential election may be, so are local elections. The local level has a very direct impact on its constituents. Make sure to check out “ballotpedia” so you can see exactly who is on your ballot this November. 

  • J.J. is a Junior Political Science major and a Political Correspondent for The Chimes. J.J. served in the Capital University Student Government and has helped on different political campaigns. You can email him at jprice3@capital.edu.

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