Thursday, November 24, 2022

Cincinnati City Council Elections are Less Than One Year Away

November 7, 2023 is Election Day in the City of Cincinnati and all nine seats on City Council are up for election.  In case you forgot, City Council terms are two years, again, so we are back at it again in less than 12 months.  What, you are not excited?  You don't want to follow along with the fringe candidates that have chance to win, but scream the loudest about what ever odd causes they push?

2021's election established that the Democratic Party has a lot of support in the City and that earned them eight of nine of the seats.  Anyone looking to get elected will have to find a way to counter the overwhelming dominance of the Dems. The logical conclusion is that few strong candidates will make a run.  There could still be some movement at the lower ranks, including the lone Republican on Council, but with the power of the Democratic Party at this point, no one would be betting against the Dems keep a veto proof majority on council.

With Greg Landsman leaving soon for Washington as the next Congressman for the Ohio First District, another person will fill one of those eight.  The process to pick the replacement candidate will be run by Council Member Reggie Harris, with an application for those interested in the appointment on his council webpage, which are due by end of day Sunday 11/27/2022.

At this point little is definitely known about who is actually going to run. It is reasonable that all incumbents will be running, along with who ever is appointed to fill Landsman's seat. WVXU's Becca Costello reported on Twitter that two current members of council have pulled petitions to run for Council, Keating and Owens.  Four others also have already pulled petitions to get on the ballot (see below.)

With that in mind, here is a list of the incumbents, those with petitions out, those who have been speculated to be possible appointees, and my list of prior candidates who might run again.

Taken Out Petitions
Andrew Kennedy (I?)
Seth Walsh (D)
Boyd Miller (R)
Stephan Pryor (?)

Getting Attention for Appointment to Greg Landsman's Seat

Jamie Castle (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
Jackie Frondorf (D,C)
Alyson Steele Beridon (D)
(Also Seth Walsh)

Maybe Will Run Again?
Bill Frost (C)
Brian Garry (D)
LaKeisha N. Cook (D) 
Galen Gordon (C)
Rob Harris (D)
K. Heard (G)
Evan Holt (DSA)
Nick Jabin (I)
John Maher (I)
Phillip O'Neal (D)
Logan-Peter Simmering (G)
John Williams (D)
Robert Adler (I)
Jalen Alford (D)
James K. Jenkins (I?)

Candidate Twitter List: I have created a list of candidates on Twitter. Here is the actual list Twitter handles for the candidates. This list may not last as Twitter turns into a chaotic mess and not a valued website. A future update to the Blog may be a either a separate page with additional links to social media of the candidates or an update to the listing above. Stay tuned for that.

As always:  If anyone has any other names please send them my way ( or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list. If there are other social media or full websites I don't list, send them along as well.

The party designations at this time are what I've seen reported or what I've determined based on my observations. These notations do not mean the candidate is endorsed by any political party or group. Once official endorsements are made, these references will be updated to reflect the endorsements. 

* = Incumbent
‡ = On Ballot
D= Democratic Party
R= Republican Party
C= Charter Committee (aka Charter Party)
G= Green Party
DSA= Democratic Socialists of America
I= Independent
?= I am speculating based on my reading of the information and observations available to me or unsure.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Hamilton County Voter Turnout by Generation in the 2022 General Election

Turnout in the Hamilton County Overall was down from 2018.  Here is the generational breakdown of the turnout by generation in the County, the City, and the non-City portion of the county in the 2022 General Election.

These numbers are up a bit from the final election night totals.  I pulled them from the Voter registration lists which have been updated with references to those who have voted. These are not official totals.  I presume the increase is due to additional mail in vote arriving and with the provisional votes.  The increase in the number of votes was 8,025 for the full county.  The data I am using is not "official" yet.  The Hamilton County BOE meets today to approve the provisional ballots and certify the results.

2018 overall turnout in Hamilton County was 57.52%.  I unfortunately do not have the same voter file data from 2018 saved to get a full comparison. I do have a comparison of 2020, 2021 and 2022.  This data is more difficult to compare year to year, as turnout has the variation between Presidential, Local, and MidTerm elections. To make up for that I added a measurement of Share of votes to the Share of Registered voters.  This is a totally made up ratio I created, but there are a couple interesting things:

The key takeaways: Gen Z (Zoomers) continues to underperform.  Their share of Registered voters Increased over 2020, which is just based natural aging (turning 18).  The rest of the generations either decreased or remained relatively even (Milliennials had a slight increase.)  Gen Z's share of votes dropped.  Their share of registered voters increased more than any other Generation, but they could not increase their share of votes.  This is insane because that means brand new Gen Z kids took the time to register, but didn't bother to vote.

This failure to vote by Gen Z in HamCo stands out from other reports in other states.  Many are attempting to praise younger voters for participating.  Well, I'm going to dismiss that participation trophy, because they didn't show up. No better can you see where the apathy, ignorance, and misinformation have taken the toll are on the Newly Registered Voters.  In 2022 here are the stats by generation of those with a Registration date in 2022:

5,461 members of Gen Z registered to vote in 2022, but failed to show up and vote in the general election.  That is 56.89% who took time to register to vote this year, but didn't bother to vote.  That is pathetic.  Millennials were on their heals in numbers, but managed to beat out Gen-X on the rate.  No Generation was great on this stat, which demonstrates that outreach to new registrations is something that needs to happen to get people to the polls.

We need to improve voter turnout and you can't just blame it on other people, those who get registered and don't vote are the ONLY people I am referencing in all of the stats I have put forth here.  Targeting that group is the key to change.  There is not a single way to improve it.  Many steps can be taken:  A national holiday on election day, improved education, improved outreach, better information and less disinformation.  More early voting, easier ways to update your registration and easier ways to update your address on your State ID or Driver's License also will help. None of those alone will do more than individuals getting off their assesses and going to vote EVERY election.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

How Greg Landsman Defeated Steve Chabot in the Ohio 1st Congressional District

I am sure there are political journalists who will have a few thousands words describing how Greg Landsman defeated Steve Chabot in the Ohio 1st Congressional District.  I can sum it up much quicker. First with a chart:

My take on these numbers is broken down into four reasons why Landsman won:
  1. In the City Landsman was able to increase the Democratic result compared to both 2018 and 2020. This blunted the 9.5% drop in turnout compared to 2018.
  2. The Eastern Hamilton County suburb's Democratic support grew significantly. The chart above shows a narrow loss, but in 2020 and 2018, the Republican candidate got 56% and 55% respectively.  Chabot being a new candidate to most of this portion of the county was one cause for the loss of support for the Republican.  The likely bigger factor is the Republican brand is more and more that of extremism and anti-women. Chabot did nothing to defuse that image. Turnout here matched to Warren County.
  3. Warren County turnout dropped ~5% from 2018 and the Democrats picked up a point or two on the results. Warren County has pockets of variation, but is largely a monolith.
  4. Not having a Third Party Candidate made the choice clear and gave the anti-Chabot vote a place to go. This vote could account for the increases is the spread for Landsman in the City and Warren county.  It would be less apparent in the Eastern Suburbs, when as part of OH-2 those areas did not have third party competition.
The above numbers are unofficial.  As of this morning there are still thousands of outstanding absentee ballots that could come in and be counted.  Also there over 8K provisional ballots in Hamilton County and 1,800 in Warren County that will be reviewed.  These additional votes will not affect the final result, just maybe the spread.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Local Cincinnati Area Races to Follow on Election Night

Beyond turnout in Hamilton County, there are several local elections to follow this Tuesday on Election Night that I will be intently watching.  Not all of these will be nail biting cliffhangers, but they will have elements and details that can give evidence on how 21st century politics are working here in Hamilton County, Ohio.

  1. OH-1 Landsman (D) vs. Chabot (R): This is of course the most interesting race in the area.  This Republican gerrymandered district is in violation of the Ohio Constitution, but in the effort to hide their power grab they made this district very close to a Toss-up.  Republicans claim this is a Dem+2 district, but that is just not true.  This is at best maybe a Dem+.05 based on historical results.  The strong Conservative Western HamCo was replaced with the more moderated Eastern HamCo and ALL of the City.  This gives an advantage to the Dem, but that advantages assumes people vote in reasonable numbers.  If turnout is strong, close to that of 2018, this should be a narrow win for the Dem.  However, since this is such a closely divided district, a small shift in turnout could make it an even narrower win for the Republican.  This race could go late into night without a declared winner, but the writing could be on the wall as the suburbs should report earlier than the city proper.
  2. Hamilton County Commissioner Dumas (D) vs Smitherman vs O'Neill (R):  This race is going to be very interesting, but not because there is much doubt as to who will win.  With a Three-Way race, the Democratic candidate should be able to win.  The interesting part will be how the two Republican candidates, Smitherman and O'Neill perform.  Only one will be marked as a Republican and that is what makes this case interesting.  Will Party ID be enough for O'Neill to get 2nd place or will Smitherman's targeted marketing work to get a large number of Republican voters for him to get 2nd place.  Also, the other situation to watch, will it be a close 1-2 race and distant 3rd or will the 2nd and 3rd each get larger chunks.  There will have to be a complete disaster in HamCo for Dems to lose this race, that is not impossible, however there is no local evidence to suggests that Dems turnout has cratered.  The Dem candidate likely won't get over 50%, but it would be somewhat surprising for either Republican to break 40%. Also, I will be watching this race since I am hoping Smitherman loses big time and this becomes the last we see of him in local politics.
  3. Hamilton County Auditor: Brigid Kelly (D) vs. Tom Brinkman (R):  Tom Brinkman is someone everyone should find it easy to root against.  He's a hardcore right wing fascist and has been way longer than the Trumpists were even a glint in Steve Bannon's eye.  Brinkman does not appear to have much of a ground campaign going.  Like his failed campaign for Cincinnati City Council last year, he appears to be phoning it in.  I'd surmise he ran just in case there was some 100 year flood of a Republican wave in Hamilton County.  He's not likely to see that this Tuesday and is running against a very organized and solid Dem candidate.  In this race I'm interested in how much it goes with the partisan breakdown like other races or does it stand out.
  4. Hamilton County Clerk of Courts: Pavan Parikh (D) vs. Steven Goodin (R):Among the county wide offices on the ballot in 2022, this one could be the most competitive, at least on paper.  Goodin has a broader appeal and name recognition in the City and amongst moderates. Parikh has the incumbency advantage, but as an appointee, having not been elected before.  Goodin ran for Cincinnati City Council last fall and did not place well (14th). Steve Goodin is capable of running a centrist race, but he's gone instead with a confrontational race, picking Social Media fights and going negative suggesting controversies. Parikh is running with the Democratic slate and as a team, that unit did amazingly well in the City in 2021.  If it carries into the county as well, he should do well.
I have strong feeling, "vibes" as the term has been used this cycle among the political junkie crowd, about this year's election.  I can't tell you anything valuable about the statewide races or how the Congressional races will add up.  Locally, however, I feel like there is NOT going to be a big "Republican Wave."  Locally that would mean Republican turnout surges and Democratic Turnout reduces.  I would easily bet a $100 that it won't happen.  Without that Red Wave, Republicans only have a couple of seats in the county that are close enough and divided up enough to win, assuming turnout "vibes."

On election night, the thing to watch is what I call the "Flop."  That's the first output by the Board of Elections that shows the votes from Absentee/Early voting.  By that point, real-time Turnout should be published as well, so we'll be able to judge if Early Absentee/Early voting is going to be an indicator of the races or will it be segmented, like 2020, which means we'll have to see how vote starts to come in from election day to get the first writing on the wall moment to give an indication of how the night will go.  I'll be covering turnout all day on Tuesday, so look for a Blog post and social media posts with updates. Good luck to the candidates and be sure to vote!