November 09, 2010
2010 Post-Election Wrap-Up
GOP Takes Control of US House, Dems Keep Control of US Senate
Time zone to time zone as the election returns came in, Republican candidates were on the winning side. With a handful of races still being counted, the GOP won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, picking up at least 60 Democratic seats. The number of House seats that changed hands was the highest since 1938 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt lost 72 seats in midterm elections. On the Senate side, the Republicans took over 6 Democratic held seats but came up short of the 10 needed to win a Senate majority. Democrats will maintain control in the higher house of Congress with a 53-seat majority.
The 2010 midterm elections signaled a momentous change for President Obama who once enjoyed high public approval ratings but now is faced with a skeptical electorate. While the full power of Congress is not behind the GOP, the Republican-led House will present a strong counter to the Obama administration in terms of policy. House Republicans have vowed to repeal the health care reform bill. Yet without control of the Senate, it is likely any repeal bill will sit in the House.
For any bill to make it to the President’s desk a significant amount of bi-partisan compromise will be required. It is unclear exactly how this compromise will look as Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided on many issues. A vote on the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts as well as two omnibus budgets – a budget that should have been passed for FY2010 and the new FY2011 budget – will indicate how bipartisan compromise can be formed.
US Senate Races
Ohio: Lee Fisher (D) vs. Rob Portman (R)
Former local Congressman Rob Portman took on sitting Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher for the open Senate seat currently held by retiring Senator George Voinovich. Portman took an early lead in the polls and in fundraising and never looked back. Portman will take his experience as a Congressman, U.S. Trade Representative, and Director of the federal Office of Management and Budget with him to Washington.
Kentucky: Jack Conway (D) vs. Rand Paul (R)
In one of the most watched races in the country, current Attorney General Jack Conway and Bowling Green, KY ophthalmologist Rand Paul led a bitter and at points personal contest for US Senate. In the end, Rand Paul’s message of limited government and balanced budgets won him a seat in the US Senate.
Local US House Races
Ohio District 1: Steve Driehaus (D) vs. Steve Chabot (R)
In a re-match of the 2008 campaign, Steve Driehaus and Steve Chabot competed for the Ohio 1st Congressional District seat in Congress. Political reporters had been watching this race closely for months as it would serve as a referendum of sorts on the Obama administration. In 2008, Driehaus ousted Chabot with the help of the new electorate Obama galvanized. If Driehaus were to hold on to the 1st District, it would have given Democrats a chance of holding on to the majority.
Ohio District 2: Jean Schmidt (R) vs. Surya Yalamanchili (D)
As was predicted by most political observers, Congresswoman Jean Schmidt won re-election with a comfortable margin, displaying her command of local issues and her ability to articulate how a smaller and more limited government can accelerate economic growth. First-time political candidate Surya Yalamanchili ran a spirited campaign that decried partisan politics and special interests, promising to be an independent voice in Washington.
Ohio District 3: Michael Turner (R) vs. Joe Roberts (D)
Four-term Congressman Michael Turner easily won re-election to a fifth-term, touting his ability to strengthen Wright-Patterson Air Force base and bring economic expansion to the Dayton area. His opponent Joe Roberts – a small business owner from Centerville – ran his campaign around the themes of education reform and clean energy.
Ohio District 8: John Boehner (R) vs. Justin Coussoule (D)
The Republican House Minority Leader, John Boehner handily won re-election and, in turn, most likely will rise to serve as Speaker of the House. Congressman Boehner has been an outspoken critic of the policies pursued during the 111th Congress and has vowed to use the overwhelming Republican wave as a mandate to change course.
Incumbents are noted in italics // Winners are noted in bold
US Senate: Democrats hold 53 seats, Republicans hold 46 seats, 1 seat is still undecided
US House: Democrats hold 187 seats, Republicans hold 239 seats, 8 seats are still undecided
Republicans Sweep Statewide
Republicans swept the State of Ohio’s top 5 elected offices as John Kasich (Governor), Mike DeWine (Attorney General), Dave Yost (Auditor), Jon Husted (Secretary of State), and Josh Mandel (Treasurer) each won their respective offices. Additionally, Republican’s in the Ohio House of Representatives picked up a projected 58 seats to re-gain the majority they held from 1994 – 2008. The Ohio Senate will remain a Republican majority while picking up 2 additional seats leaving them with a total of 23.
The stakes of this election were high for many reasons, one of them being the future of the political landscape in Ohio. Following a census the State’s legislative districts are re-drawn by Ohio’s Apportionment Board. The Apportionment Board consists of 5 members; Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State, and a Republican and Democrat representative from the General Assembly. The Republicans will control 4 of these 5 seats giving them a clear upper hand when determining the new legislative boundaries.
Republican control of the Ohio House of Representatives means the faces of leadership will change. Representative Bill Batchelder, the current Minority Leader from Medina, is expected to take over the reigns as Speaker of the Ohio House. On the Senate side, the current President Pro-Tempore Senator Tom Niehaus will likely become the next Senate President replacing retiring President Bill Harris.
The republicans now control the Governor’s mansion, House of Representatives, Senate, and all 5 state-wide offices.
Ohio House: Republicans hold 58 seats, Democrats hold 40 seats, 1 seat is still undecided
Ohio Senate: Republicans hold 23 seats, Democrats hold 10 seats
Balance of Power Shifts on Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners
The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners will now be controlled by the GOP. Current Commissioner Greg Hartmann and newly-elected Commissioner Chris Monzel will hold the majority. Current Commissioner Todd Portune will be the lone Democratic board vote.
The shift in control will be an important factor in deciding how Hamilton County balances the stadium fund deficit. The three current County Commissioners have put forth their own plans to balance the stadium fund with none of the three proposals winning another vote. Commissioner Greg Hartmann’s plan included redirecting indigent care levy funds to the stadium fund. Commissioner Todd Portune has proposed an emergency 1-year sales tax increase as part of his plan. Current Commission President and outgoing Commissioner David Pepper suggested putting a cap on property tax rebates for high end homes. While incoming Commissioner-elect Chris Monzel has not put forward a specific plan, he has said he remains committed to keeping the property tax rollback as is and would also look into selling county assets.
Other Countwide Election Results
Commissioner: Cindy Carpenter (R) 70% vs. Butch Hubble (D) 30%
Commissioner: Archie Wilson (R) 60% vs. Scott Croswell (I) 40%
Commissioner: Tom Ariss (R) 100% unopposed
For more information, contact the Chamber Government Affairs staff.