Ohio

October 28, 2022

The latest early voting figures from the Secretary of State’s office show a modest 1.8% increase compared to this point in the last midterm cycle. But there’s an interesting shift happening within those numbers. Latest figures Absentee ballot requests make up the lion’s share of the more than 1 million ballots cast or requested. They lag 2018 by about 22,000 ballots. The number of early votes cast in person, meanwhile, appears to be surging. The 135,889 ballots reported this Tuesday represents an almost 45% increase over the same point in the previous cycle. “With two weeks until Election Day, any eligible Ohio voter still planning to vote absentee should mail their request in as soon as possible,” Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a press release. “Our bipartisan county boards of elections are working hard to conduct the proper checks and get ballots mailed out as quickly as possible.” LaRose added that voters can also track their ballot online. Now for the grain of salt — the secretary’s figures are unofficial, and the revisions can be substantial. Due to a data entry error, last week’s early in-person vote total dropped from more than 70,000 ballots cast to only about 50,000. A spokesman for the secretary of state explained they tally early vote totals through surveys sent out to county boards. He chalked up the mistake to human error and said they don’t expect to see further issues. Even with the revisions to the previous week’s figures, 2022 was still outpacing 2018 in early in-person votes. But instead of the eye-popping 74% increase between cycles prior to the correction, the actual increase is more like 22%. Partisan implications Democrats are more likely than Republicans to vote early, but the glut of in-person ballots shouldn’t be too comforting. Democratic strongholds like Franklin, Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties are still far short of 2018’s eventual totals. Franklin’s roughly 10,000 ballots is less than a fifth of 2018’s final tally, Cuyahoga County is running at a similar rate. Hamilton’s roughly 7300 ballots is about a third of 2018’s early in-person total. Meanwhile counties like Butler and Warren just north of Cincinnati and Medina to the west of Akron are all in the top ten for early in-person voting so far. All three are outpacing Cuyahoga County. All three backed Republican Jim Renacci in 2018 and Donald Trump in 2020. Follow OCJ Reporter Nick Evans on Twitter. GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX SUBSCRIBE SUPPORT NEWS YOU TRUST. DONATE Ohio Capital Journal is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Ohio Capital Journal maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor David DeWitt for questions: info@ohiocapitaljournal.com. Follow Ohio Capital Journal on Facebook and Twitter.

October 18, 2022

Ohio’s U.S. Senate nominees met Monday in a contentious, final debate of the campaign. Polling has continued to show a dead heat within margins of error between Democratic candidate Tim Ryan and Republican candidate J.D. Vance, who are looking to replace outgoing Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. Outside Youngstown’s Stambaugh Auditorium, a 1920’s marble-columned behemoth, two groups of supporters waved signs and chanted slogans for their favored candidate. Inside, it was less rowdy. Attendance was limited to members of the media. Mining for disagreements The fireworks started early after a pair of questions delving into the nominees’ perceived subservience to their party’s leaders. Former Vindicator columnist Bertram de Souza brought up Donald Trump’s quip at a local rally that “J.D. is kissing my ass.” He pressed Vance to describe some point of disagreement with the former president. Vance pointed to figures in the Trump administration like John Bolton who lobbied for “limitless non-stop wars,” but quickly shifted to dismiss Trump’s comment. “Donald Trump told a joke,” Vance said. “He told a joke at a rally based on a false New York Times story.” That article suggested Vance and other candidates may not be enthusiastic about Trump visiting their states. Vance then turned the charge on Ryan, arguing he’s beholden to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer. “The guy who’s subservient to the national party is Tim Ryan,” Vance argued, “who has been begging for these guys to come into this race and save him from the campaign that he’s been running.” De Souza asked Ryan to describe an issue where he disagreed with Speaker Pelosi, and Ryan brought up his bid challenging her as House Speaker. “You have to have the courage to take on your own leaders,” he said. Turning to Vance he added, “these leaders in D.C., they’ll eat you up like a chew toy.” “Mitch McConnell gave you $40 million dollars to prop up your campaign. Peter Thiel gave you $15 million. That’s $55 million, J.D. What do you think they want for that?” Ryan asked. “They want your loyalty, and you proved that you’ll kiss their ass, too.” Replacement Theory The night closed on an acrimonious note as well. De Souza pressed Vance about his embrace of replacement theory, which contends that white citizens are being systematically replaced by non-white immigrants. The National Immigration Forum explains adherents believe there is a “plot designed to undermine or ‘replace’ the political power and culture of white people living in western countries.” On stage, Vance offered a toned down version of the idea. He argued “Democratic leadership… say they want more and more immigration because if that happens they’ll ensure that Republicans are never able to win a national election.” Vance added that his wife’s family immigrated to the country, but stressed that they came legally. Ryan meanwhile cut right to the racism at the heart of replacement theory. He said the theory was the “primary motivator” of a mass shooting in May at a predominately Black grocery store in Buffalo. “Some sicko got this information that he’s peddling,” Ryan said. “Again, those extremists that he runs around with, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz, all these guys that want to stoke this racial violence.” “We’re tired of it, J.D.” he said. “This kid goes to a grocery store in Buffalo where Black people shop and shoots them up. No. We want to move on from that.” Ryan had struck a nerve, both said. He called Ryan disgusting, disgraceful, and shameful at different points. “I’ll tell you exactly what happens, Tim,” he said. “What happens is that my own children, my biracial children get attacked by scumbags online and in person because you are so desperate for political power that you’ll accuse me, the father of three beautiful biracial babies, of racism.” “We’re sick of it,” Vance said. “You can believe in a border without being racist and you can believe in the country without being a racist, and this just shows how desperate this guy is for political power.” Later this week Vance campaigns around the state with Sens. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Tim Ryan will be crisscrossing the state in the coming week but without any surrogates alongside. Asked after the debate if he was concerned about his lack of support from national Democrats when Vance has had numerous visit and an influx of campaign cash, Ryan brushed it off. “We don’t need them, we’re going to win without them,” he said. Follow OCJ Reporter Nick Evans on Twitter. GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX SUBSCRIBE SUPPORT NEWS YOU TRUST. DONATE Ohio Capital Journal is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Ohio Capital Journal maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor David DeWitt for questions: info@ohiocapitaljournal.com. Follow Ohio Capital Journal on Facebook and Twitter.

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