In a slight surprise, Ohio’s congressional maps will remain unchanged for the 2024 cycle. The plaintiffs for a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the maps dropped their case. As a result, the Ohio Supreme Court dropped the case without comment.
This unusual choice by the plaintiffs likely comes as a response to the imminent threat of a stronger Republican gerrymander that could change the current map’s 10-5 Republican majority into a harsher 13-2 majority. However, this only delays the inevitable – the map will still need to be redrawn after the 2024 cycle, as it was only approved for use in two cycles due to a lack of bipartisan support.
As a result of this updating, we’re moving all of Ohio’s congressional districts out of the Pending Redraw column.
- OH-01: Likely Democratic
- OH-02: Safe Republican
- OH-03: Safe Democratic
- OH-04: Safe Republican
- OH-05: Safe Republican
- OH-06: Safe Republican
- OH-07: Safe Republican
- OH-08: Safe Republican
- OH-09: Tossup
- OH-10: Safe Republican
- OH-11: Safe Democratic
- OH-12: Safe Republican
- OH-13: Leans Democratic
- OH-14: Safe Republican
- OH-15: Safe Republican
A tenuous status quo
As in 2022, most districts in Ohio are uncompetitive; 10 seats are rated as Safe Republican, and 2 are rated as Safe Democratic. Of the remaining three districts, we have one as a Tossup and two in the Democratic column.
Ohio’s 1st district, a Biden+8 seat that is trending sharply to the left, opens at Likely Democratic. This seat, which combines heavily Democratic Cincinnati with heavily Republican Warren County, was drawn to be a winnable seat for longtime Representative Steve Chabot. Instead, it flipped Democratic by five points in a mild upset; we see incumbent Democrat Greg Landsman as the strong favorite here.
Ohio’s 9th district, represented by Democrat Marcy Kaptur, opens as a Tossup. This district draws in Democratic-leaning Lucas County (home to Toledo) with a slew of heavily Republican rural areas. Trump would have carried the seat by three points in 2020, and the seat continues to trend in the wrong direction for Democrats. However, Kaptur is a very strong incumbent. While her 13-point victory in 2022 was impressive, it is also an anomaly. Republicans abandoned their candidate, MAGA Republican J. R. Majewski, after he faced scrutiny for misrepresenting his service record. This time around, the disgraced Majewski is not running, leaving the door open for a credible challenger.
Ohio’s 13th district, which contains Akron and Canton, opens as Leans Democratic. Emilia Sykes carried this Biden+3 district by 5.4% in 2022, and the seat has a fairly consistent Democratic trend in most elections. We think Sykes is the favorite here, although Republicans could certainly field a credible challenge.
The national picture
With this update, Democrats are favored in 200 seats and Republicans are favored in 195 seats. 19 seats are currently rated as Tossups, and another 21 are pending a redraw. The two states pending redraws – Alabama and North Carolina – are expected to yield a 5-2 Republican advantage and a 10-4 or 11-3 Republican advantage, respectively. This means Republicans, on paper, still have an easier path to a majority than Democrats.
However, lawsuits in several states, including Louisiana and Florida, could yield several additional seats for Democrat, and several other states – most notably New Mexico – face longshot redistricting lawsuits. The elephant in the room is New York, which may have to redraw its 26 congressional districts.
All this means that