Thursday, June 19, 2008
OH-02 Turns Blue In 2008: 126,739 Registered Dems Now Outnumber 121,660 Republicans
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- It doesn't look like Republican country anymore. And the sudden shift to the Democrats clearly has reshaped the political complexion of the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati, where 51,753 Democrats are now registered versus 42,527 Republicans. Those suburbs are densely populated and hold more than a third of the OH-02 electorate. They have been a pillar for Republican candidates and officeholders. Just two years ago, the GOP had a lock on the area with 17,513 more registered voters than the Dems. And across Ohio's entire 2nd Congressional District -- which touches seven southern counties near the Ohio River -- a blue wave has risen. Overall, there are 126,739 Dems compared to 121,660 Republicans, a 129 percent increase since 2006.
The dramatic change in declared party alignment could be considered bad news for Republican U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, who is seeking reelection in a district that no longer looks to be a GOP stronghold. David Margolis, field director for Democrat Vic Wulsin, says the voter registration figures made public today show "the entire character of the district has changed. The number of committed Democrats in the 2nd District has more than doubled since March, turning what had been a Republican advantage into a Democratic majority." Wulsin lost by 2,517 votes in 2006 -- a year when the district had only 55,389 registered Dems.
Below are the latest numbers of Republicans and Democrats in the counties comprising Schmidt's district, with the counties color-coded by party. The data comes from the Ohio Secretary of State's office, which gets monthly reports on voter registrations from county election boards:
Adams County -- 4,354 D; 4,925 R, Dems up 89% since 2006.
Brown County -- 8,725 D; 6,108 R, Dems up 82% since 2006.
Clermont County (Schmidt's home county) -- 30,998 D; 38,579 R, Dems up 113% since 2006.
Hamilton County -- 51,753 D; 42,527 R, Dems up 167% since 2006.
Pike County -- 6,509 D; 2,741 R, Dems up 67% since 2006.
Scioto County -- 9,514 D; 4,242 R, Dems up 46% since 2006.
Warren County -- 14,859 D; 22,538 R, Dems up 188% since 2006.
To be fair, there are more registered Republicans in OH-02 now than in 2006, when Schmidt last faced Wulsin in a general election. GOP registrations are up by nearly 17%. But that didn't come anywhere close to keeping pace with the wave of Ohioans who registered as Democrats.