Pro-Trump District Swings 20 Percentage Points Towards Democrats In Election Surprise

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In a special election held Tuesday for an Ohio seat in Congress, Republicans under-performed some of their earlier margins in the district substantially.

Political analyst Dave Wasserman identified the district as Trump +29, meaning one where Donald Trump was ahead by some 29 percentage points in the results from last time around when the Republican was facing Democratic contender Joe Biden. But in the Congressional election this Tuesday, Republican candidate Michael Rulli won by about nine percent.

As could be expected in a special election, meaning one held outside the regular schedule of elections, turnout was low, but Wasserman pointed nonetheless to what he characterized as indications of a burgeoning Democratic advantage. “Turnout in #OH06 looks abysmal, and as we’ve seen in tons of specials/polls, Dems have a growing advantage w/ the highest-engagement voters,” Wasserman said online.

The Republican who previously held the seat resigned to become a university president.

Ohio, as a whole, has tended towards Republicans in recent presidential elections, with Trump winning the state in both 2020 and 2016, even as his fortunes reversed the second time around in nearby states like Pennsylvania, which went from the Republican column in 2016 to Joe Biden’s four years later.

Ohio also has a U.S. Senate election on the ballot this year, with Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown seeking another term against Trump-aligned Republican challenger Bernie Moreno. Polling has shown Brown with somewhat of an advantage, though there is a vast difference between polling and election results. Democrats are facing a broadly tough map of Senate elections this year, with the party also seeking to keep seats in its caucus in Montana, Nevada, Arizona, and elsewhere. In Arizona in particular, Democratic Party-aligned independent Kyrsten Sinema is not running for another term, clearing the field for Democratic contender Ruben Gallego, a Congressman.