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Between the Lines: New Ohio Map Has Plenty of Winners and Losers

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
In Ohio’s redrawn Congressional map, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (above) was put in the same district as Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

Buckeye State Democrats bore the brunt of Republicansí aggressive redraw of the stateís Congressional map. But they werenít the only losers under the proposed lines released this week.

Ohio is losing two House seats in 2012 because the stateís population did not grow as quickly as others. GOP mapmakers moved six Members into three House districts, giving Republicans an expected 12-4 edge in the delegation.

Hereís our take on which Ohio candidates got the best and worst of the new map.

Winners

• Columbus Democrats

Open the candidate floodgates. For a decade, Columbus Democrats ran with almost no success for two competitive seats that split through the middle of downtown. Not anymore now that Republicans drew a new urban Columbus 3rd district. Expect a long line of Democrats to form for this new seat, possibly including Columbus City Councilman Zach Klein, former Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, former state House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty, former state Treasurer Kevin Boyce, state Rep. Nancy Garland, state Rep. John Patrick Carney and Franklin County Commissioner John OíGrady.

Sources say the areaís most prominent Democrat, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, has no interest in running. But Coleman hasnít made an official statement yet.

• Speaker John Boehner

He had a heavy hand in the new map that could eliminate two Democrats from the delegation. Need proof of the Republicanís power at home? He now has the safest GOP district in the state.

• GOP Reps. Steve Chabot, Patrick Tiberi and Jim Jordan

Chabot and Tiberi will run in some of the friendliest GOP territory theyíve ever had. Chabot gained GOP-rich Warren County, while Tiberi picked up more Republican territory in central Ohio.

As for Jordan, remember those summer news reports that Ohio Republicans would dismantle his district as retribution for crossing Boehner on the debt ceiling vote? That didnít happen. Mapmakers moved more Democrats into his district, but itís still a solidly GOP seat.

• Freshman GOP Reps. Bill Johnson and Bob Gibbs

The partisan composition of their districts changed only marginally. But these two Republicans are winners because they have districts all to themselves. Thatís more than what some of their more senior Republican colleagues can say, given the proposed map.

Losers

• GOP Reps. Michael Turner and Steve Austria

Theyíre now in the same central Ohio district. Sources say this is payback for Turnerís vote against the debt ceiling bill this summer, and Austriaís fundraising is often lackluster. Turner has the upper hand in this redrawn district, but itís going to be a competitive primary.

• Cleveland-Area Democrats

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