For a clue to the 2022 midterm election, watch 2 Ohio races

While the results of Virginia’s election prompted talk that the Democratic Party’s left turn on racial and cultural issues could hurt sub...


While the results of Virginia’s election prompted talk that the Democratic Party’s left turn on racial and cultural issues could hurt suburban Democrats, Ms. Russo won 55% of the vote in the party’s. Franklin County, home to the suburb of Columbus, nearly tying the 56% won by Mr. Biden.

Ohio’s 11th arrondissement is even less competitive. The predominantly black district, which winds from Cleveland to Akron, favored Mr. Biden with a huge 61 points last november. Former Democratic representative Marcia Fudge, now housing and town planning secretary, won by 60 points. The result was similar this time around: Shontel Brown, the establishment-backed Democrat who narrowly beat progressive frontrunner Nina Turner in an August primary, won by 58 points.

It may seem odd to draw attention to the results of uncompetitive races, but the results of congressional special elections often do a decent job of foreshadowing the result of the next midterm elections. Four years ago, the special election was one of the first signs of Democratic strength after Mr. Trump was elected president. So far this cycle, others special election results tended to be more like the modest Republican gains in Ohio than the large GOP swings in Virginia and New Jersey.

Another reason to pay attention is that special Congressional elections are contests for federal office, not state or local government.

As politics has become more and more nationalized in recent years, it remains quite common for voters to split their tickets and support the other party in top-down ballot races for the governor or other local offices. Maryland and Massachusetts elected Republican governors in 2018, despite the so-called blue wave that year. Local issues, such as education or property taxes, naturally play a much larger role than in federal competitions. And it is much easier for a relatively moderate candidate in local elections to get rid of the baggage of the national party. After all, a vote for Youngkin as governor of Virginia is not a vote to make Kevin McCarthy the Speaker of the House or Mitch McConnell the majority leader in the Senate.

Democrats and Republicans were deadlocked on the generic Congressional ballot, a poll question asking whether voters would support a Democrat or a Republican in Congress. Historically, the measure follows well with the eventual national House vote. On average, Republicans lead by less than a percentage point, according to FiveThirtyEight – they took the lead while I was writing this newsletter.

A roughly equal national vote in the House would most likely mean clear Republican control of the chamber, thanks to partisan gerrymandering and the Democrats’ tendency to win imbalanced margins in trusted Democratic areas. But it would be a much closer race than you might guess based on Virginia and New Jersey.



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Newsrust - US Top News: For a clue to the 2022 midterm election, watch 2 Ohio races
For a clue to the 2022 midterm election, watch 2 Ohio races
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