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Government and Politics

Ohio remains overwhelmingly red following Tuesday's election
GOP sweeps statewide, in Congress and in the Legislature
This story is part of a special series.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
John Kasich is increasingly talked about as a presidential possibility, and that talk is likely to increase with Tuesday's overwhelming win.
Courtesy of Screen capture, victory speech
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The results of Tuesday’s election in Ohio for the most part translate into more of the same. Gov. John Kasich and the other six statewide incumbents – all Republicans – won. So did all 16 incumbent members of Ohio’s congressional delegation. And nothing changes in the Statehouse. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with the University of Akron Bliss Institute’s Dave Cohen about the messages from voters and what that bodes for 2016 and beyond

LISTEN: Cohen on Ohio results

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LISTEN: Voters on Kasich

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Political scientist Cohen says in some ways, Ohio remains a political microcosm of the country – one that often parts with a president and his party midway through the president’s second term. And that’s what happened on Tuesday.

“The president’s party always gets killed in this scenario. In fact ,in only one election since 1834 has the president’s party actually gained seats in the House of Representatives.”

It gets worse for Dems
But Cohen says Ohio had its own dynamics.

“Ohio certainly was following the national trend, but I think Ohio Democrats really were hurt because the top of the ticket, Ed FitzGerald, the gubernatorial candidates his campaign completely imploded a few months ago. And when that happened, enthusiasm on the Democratic side collapsed. And in in a midterm election, it’s absolutely essential that you get your base revved up and enthusiastic and get them out to the polls.

Kasich's next step
But FitzGerald didn’t only lose. Incumbent Gov. John Kasich won – huge, and that may have an impact on the national stage.

“This is really a resurgent governor. Three years ago, it would be hard to predict that he would be reelected with such a large margin. And now, I think many people not only in Ohio but in the country are viewing him as a presidential candidate -- or at least a vice presidential possibility.”

But as long as he remains governor, he’ll likely have a very cooperative legislature. Cohen notes that the Republican may actually have picked up a Statehouse seat or two – in a body they already dominated.

Political chairman and map-making
And if Rep. Chris Redfern – also Ohio’s Democratic Party chairman – is one of those to lose his seat,  “not that many Democrats in Ohio are going to shed a tear.”

They will, says Cohen, likely be picking a new chairman and trying to regroup.

Nationally, Cohen says 2014 is not as big a disaster for Democrats as some believe, and two years from now “we’re going to have a presidential year and things will be completely different. … Democrats will be competitive on a national level.”

But in Ohio, Cohen says the bad news for Democrats is likely to be repeated unless the state changes the way legislative and congressional maps are drawn. He also notes that two of Tuesday night successful Republicans, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Auditor David Yost, are among those calling for an overhaul in the way that Legislative and congressional districts are drawn.

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