Republicans Lose Ground in Shock Ohio Election

By: David Donovan | Published: Jun 12, 2024

In the most recent special election in Ohio, Democrats gained 20 points in a Republican district.

The election was to fill the vacancy left by Bill Johnson, who resigned in January after 13 years in Congress to become president of Youngstown State University. 

Ohio 6th District

The election was held on Tuesday in the eastern portion of Ohio’s 6th district. Republican state Senator Michael Rulli defeated Democrat Michael Kripchak to win the election.

Senator with elderly people sitting at a table discussing politics.

X user michaelrulli

However, despite the fact that he prevailed with 54.7 percent of the vote to 45.3 percent for Kripchak, his victory indicates a decline in GOP support in Ohio’s 6th District compared to previous contests.


Johnson’s Legacy

Johnson won his last four races by more than 30 percentage points. In the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, the former battleground state was won by eight points by Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for November’s election.

Senator in a boardroom chairing a meeting with people as a tv shows outline

X user RepBillJohnson

Political analyst Dave Wasserman wrote about the close outcome on X, which was previously Twitter. He said that voter turnout was “abysmal.”

Rulli’s Reaction

Rulli, however, reacted to the outcome by saying: “We knew the polls were going to be close, and the guy I ran against really worked. He’s a really hard worker.”

Three men posing for a photograph in a ballroom, two in suits one in a robe.

He went on to argue: “But this is a blue-collar district, this is Bruce Springsteen, the forgotten man, ‘Joe Bag of Donuts.’ They don’t trust the Democrats and Republicans, and they look at the individual. And I’m really good at retail politics.”

Kripchak’s Loss

Kripchak let the Associated Press know that the outcome had “not diminished our spirit.”

Four men standing in a room with a table behind them and windows.

Facebook user Kripchak for Congress

According to Kripchak: “Though historically a red district, our campaign outperformed expectations, proving the doubters wrong.”

House of Representatives

The election of Rulli has increased the GOP’s slim majority in the House of Representatives, despite the result showing a decline in GOP support. The party will presently hold 219 seats to the Democrat’s 213.

Man sitting in a board room looking at a screen.

Unsplash user History in HD

FiveThirtyEight, a polling aggregator, says that Trump is likely to win the state in the presidential election. He has 46.1% of the vote, while Democratic incumbent Joe Biden has 36.8%.


November Rematch

In November’s elections, Rulli and Kripchack will compete for the full two-year term that will begin in January.

Man posing in front of a sign

X user DrToddLandman

“The November race might be tighter than expected,” stated political science professor at Nottingham University, UK, Todd Landman, in an interview with Newsweek.


Political Commentary

Landman stated: “The Ohio special election was somewhat unusual since the seat has been vacant for some time and Rulli will have to run again in November, so will he be in the House for a short period during which he will need to campaign.”

Man in a robe speaking to a crowd

X user DrToddLandman

According to him: “His election does increase the GOP hold on the House, but the advance of Democrats in Ohio means the November race may be tighter than expected in a strong Republican area.”


Landman’s Take

“It is likely that turnout will be higher in November, so both parties will need to have strong campaigns” as per Landman’s opinion. 

Man posing in front of a desk as students pose behind him.

X user DrToddLandman

He stated that this “will be affected by the Presidential campaign efforts in the wake of the convictions of Mr Trump and Hunter Biden.”


Biden’s Ohio Challenge

Previously in April President Joe Biden faced a challenge as the Democratic National Convention may be too late for him to appear on the general election ballot in Ohio

Four people in formal wear pose for the camera as soldiers stand behind them

X user POTUS

There was an apparent conflict between the DNC nominating process and the deadline for the state to confirm the presidential nominee for the party.


DNC Date

The conflict comes as the DNC is scheduled to be held on August 19 2024 which comes a week after the August 7 deadline to confirm a presidential candidate in Ohio

Man signing documents as another man watches

X user FrankLaRose

In a letter from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office it stated: “Pending further clarification, I am left to conclude that the Democratic National Committee must either move up its nominating convention.”


November Predictions

Polls put Biden and Trump either neck and neck or slightly favoring Biden meaning it will be a tight race come November.

Man standing at a podium making a speech

X user POTUS

While Biden might lead in a popular vote, Trump is expected to come out on top in a series of swing states.

The shock shift in the Democratic hold in Ohio may signal a shake-up in the Republican state when elections are held again this winter.