Because of Ohio’s limited population growth over the last decade, the state will be losing two of its 18 seats in the United States House of Representatives.
According to Bryan Marshall, a political science professor at Miami University, this change will have quite a few implications for the state of Ohio.
“The most focus seems to be on Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich’s combining districts,” Marshall said.
Their combined district will be in Northern Ohio, running along Lake Erie.
Both Kaptur and Kucinich are members of the Democratic Party with similar voting track records, however, they have very different styles.
According to Marshall, Kaptur is focused more on local issues such as unemployment, whereas Kucinich takes a more national approach, focusing on foreign policy.
Kucinich plans to stay in Ohio and run for reelection next year, rather than moving to Washington state, a plan he had been considering.
Kaptur is the longest serving female Democratic member of the House, with a great deal of seniority, and the second highest on the Appropriations Committee. Because of this, Marshall is concerned that if she were to lose, Ohio may receive fewer appropriations for projects.
Marshall said that due to the redistricting, many of the districts that may have been more competitive in the past, are now very promisingly Republican.
Hamilton County GOP chairman, Alex Triantafilou, said one of the seats that Ohio is going to lose is in the Miami Valley area. However, he also believes that because John Boehner’s district remains in Ohio, the state should have no problem still holding a big representation in the House.
Triantafilou said even though the House will lose one seat from this region of Ohio, we are maintaining three other strong seats for Southwest Ohio.
The loss of two representatives also means that Ohio will also lose two electoral votes in the 2012 Presidential election.
Marshall and Triantafilou agree that although this redistricting gives Ohio less weight in the election, the state will remain an important swing state and a focus for presidential candidates.
Senior political science and history major Ann Daniels is interested to see how this change in the United States will affect Ohio and its national political importance.
“I think the current redistricting in Ohio is going to have significant effect on the upcoming 2012 Presidential and congressional election, making Ohio a center of political media attention,” Daniels said. “I’m interested to see how it plays out and the consequences it will have on the outcomes of the elections.”
The redistricting is not yet finalized, though it looks like there will be few changes from here. If signed into law by Governor Kasich, the redistricting will be in effect for the next House of Representative elections.