On November 8, 2016, Ohio voters cast ballots in the 2016 general election. Federal offices — including President, U.S. Senate and Ohio Supreme Court — were all on the ballot, as were seats in the Ohio General Assembly. Many counties in Ohio and around the country reported record-breaking early voter turnout, adding to the historic nature of this election.
After quite an unusual election cycle, Donald J. Trump and his running mate Mike Pence clinched the presidential race after claiming many of the country’s swing states, including Ohio, which was won by over 400,000 votes. In a year with record high absentee ballots, the Trump/Pence campaign carried counties that haven’t been won by Republicans since the 1920s. President-elect Trump won 52.05 percent of the Ohio vote and Hillary Clinton won 43.51 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Senator Rob Portman (R) prevailed over former Governor Ted Strickland (D) in the race for U.S. Senate in Ohio, winning 58.32 percent to 36.92 percent. Senator Portman took a significant lead in the polls over Strickland in the weeks leading up to the election. Portman and Strickland also faced Joseph DeMare of the Green Party and Thomas William Connors and Scott Rupert of the Independent Party. Each received 1.62 percent, 1.72 percent and 1.43 percent of the vote, respectively. Senator Portman has held Ohio’s Senate seat since 2011.
U.S. House of Representatives
Republicans retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Ohio U.S. Representatives Marcia Fudge (D), Marcy Kaptur (D), Pat Tiberi (R), Mike Turner (R), David Joyce (R), Tim Ryan (D), Steve Stivers (R) and Jim Renacci (R) all won re-election. Steve Chabot (R), Brad Wenstrup (R), Joyce Beatty (D), Jim Jordan (R), Bob Latta (R), Bob Gibbs (R), and Warren Davidson (R) were also successful.
Ohio House and Senate: Republican Majority
In the Ohio House, the Republican majority increased to 66 seats, up 1 from the current 65. This is the single largest Republican majority in the history of the Ohio legislature. Similarly, in the Ohio Senate, with Frank Hoagland’s victory over incumbent Lou Gentile, the Ohio Senate majority, in the upcoming 132nd General Assembly, will be at 24 Republican seats — also the largest Republican majority in the history of the Ohio Senate. These are historic margins within the 2017-2018
Ohio Supreme Court
Judge Pat DeWine (R) of the 1st District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati prevailed over Judge Cynthia Rice (D) of the 11th District Court of Appeals in Northwest Ohio to fill Justice Paul Pfeifer’s (R) seat on the Ohio Supreme Court bench. (Justice Pfeifer was barred from seeking another term due to his age.) Judge DeWine, the son of former U.S. Senator and current Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, came away with the win, obtaining 56.42 percent of the votes.
Additionally, Judge Pat Fischer (R) of the 1st District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is currently leading by a narrow 26,000 vote margin over Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court bench. Judge Fischer received 50.31 percent of the votes to fill Justice Judith Lanzinger’s (R) seat. (Lanzinger must also retire due to Ohio’s age requirement.) While some media outlets have called the race for Fischer, there are still thousands of uncounted absentee and provisional ballots to be verified and possibly counted in late November, but it is too soon to know if those outstanding ballots will affect Judge Fischer’s apparent victory in this very close Ohio Supreme Court campaign.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor was uncontested in her bid for re-election.
Pre-election, the court was dominated by Republicans 6-1. With the election of Judges DeWine, Fischer and O’Connor, this will remain the same.