Democrats may be circling 2018 on the map to take back Congress but don't look for Ohio to help

Posted at 6:28 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 18:28:11-04

A new Quinnipiac University Poll out this week took after the Republicans in the House passed the American Health Care Act showed the level of the nation's issues with Congress with 71 percent disapproving of the jobs Republicans are doing and 58 disapproving of Democrats.

On the question of which party would you like to see controlling Congress, 54 percent said Democrats and 38 percent said Republicans. That 16 point difference was the greatest spread according to Quinnipiac they'd ever recorded topping a previous high of just five percent for the GOP in 2013.

While Democrats are expected to make gains in 2018 don't look for any of those pickups to come from Ohio. The website 270toWin which rates the house seats has 15 of Ohio's 16 as safe with the only question mark hanging over Steve Chabot's 1st District but even that seat is listed as "likely" Republican.

That's because Ohio's seats, drawn since 1967 by a five-member commission made up of the Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State (all Republicans in 2011) along with a commissioner chosen by the Speaker of the House along with his or her's party leader in the Senate and the last chosen by the House minority leader in connection with that party's leader in the Senate.

The end result has been general election safe Congressional seats drawn to protect members even if the end result isn't the most sensible to the eye. Rep. Marcy Kaptur's (D-9th) seat resembles an ocean side Par 5 on a British links golf course stretching along Lake Erie from Cleveland to Toledo. "Maybe I should play it," joked Governor John Kasich.

Kasich is one of those calling for reform in Ohio and across the country to end the gerrymandering that has resulted in what he says in the political divide we have in the country right now.

"I am absolutely in favor of the way we do redistricting so that both parties have to ascent to it so that the districts can become more fair," said Kasich. "In redistricting all it does is drive people to the extremes. If you're a Republican you worry about a primary from the right, if you're a Democrat you worry about a primary from the left. It just polarizes and pushes us out."

"Nothing get's fixed out here," Kasich said holding his hands apart. "You build from the middle and you push out you don't start out here and try to push in, it doesn't work."

Ohio State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Akron) is one of the driving forces behind a resolution to change the way the re-drawing of districts will take place in 2021 to make it more fair to both parties.

"The citizens of Ohio recognize that the winner takes all method of drawing district lines that has been in use for a long time in Ohio is not sustainable and not in the best interest of our democracy," he said.

"Senate Joint Resolution 3 creates a bi-partisan scenario where Republicans and Democrats have to sit down and roll up their sleeves and be statesmen and women about this," he said. Ohio voters approved a similar measure in 2015 for the redrawing of state legislative districts.

"I've had people ask me, 'you're a Republican, why would you want to change this process it's been to your party's benefit," LaRose said.

"I also view this as tough love for my party. I believe that Republicans will win elections because we have better candidates with better ideas for how we need our state and our nation. And I think that that's more sustainable than winning elections simply by drawing creative lines on a map."