Back on September 12th Tom Whatman, Chief Executive of Team Boehner, emailed some Ohio GOP staffers working on redrawing Ohio’s new congressional districts. Eight minutes later the 16th district, represented by congressman Jim Renacci, had been redrawn to include the HQ for Timken, a company whose founders, executives and PACs had contributed over $120,000 to Renacci in the past two years.

Earlier in the process his district had been redrawn to include part of the former 13th District, including the home of Betty Sutton, the Representative from the 13th.

Ohio’s Republicans redrew the 16th District intent on making it a secure district for Renacci both in voter make-up and in financial donors.

Thing is: it doesn’t seem to have worked.

According a poll conducted a few weeks later (October 3rd– 5th), Democrat Sutton is in a dead heat with Republican Renacci, despite, or possibly because of the redrawn districts.

Candidate Vote among all likely voters Vote among voters who can identify both candidates
Betty Sutton 45% 49%
Jim Renacci 45% 46%
Undecided 10% 5%

Despite the recent changes to the maps, the current 16th district has nearly the same voter make up as it did when this assessment poll, paid for by Betty Sutton, was conducted.

This poll provides an important benchmark of where Sutton and Renacci are both starting out in this race. And it’s definitely good news for Sutton, given that Jim has -7 negatives while Sutton has +7 positive.

And internal polling isn’t the only good indicator that Sutton now has a path to victory in the newly drawn 16th.

The Cook Report’s David Wasserman changed the 16th to Toss-up today and called Sutton’s entry into the race “good news for Democrats.”

  • Anastasjoy

    I think after Renacci is packing his bags to return to Wadsworth and Betty is getting ready for her next term in Congress, the Republicans will look back and realize they made a critical mistake. In their zeal to smash up Cuyahoga County, create a tangled and impenetrable spaghetti of entwined districts, and fracture its impact, influence and ability to work as a unit, they handed Betty a huge gift: the Parma/Brook Park area Democratic machine. The area is heavily invested in the auto industry — Betty wrote Cash for Clunkers. And when they turn out, they work as a team and put some muscle into it. In fact, giving Renacci that swath of Southwest Cuyahoga was, I believe, a mistake. Although Betty currently represents only a sliver of Cuyahoga, she has always made her presence known here, attending county events regularly. I actually first met her in 2006, when she won her first election, at the opening of a coordinated campaign headquarters — in Parma. She won’t be an unfamiliar name to her new constituents in Cuyahoga. Renacci will. And Renacci didn’t save their jobs.

    I think this has a good shot at being the district where the Republican master plan failed most spectacularly.

  • it would be not nice  not agreeing with you!

  • Adrienne

    Renacci works for Timken and Betty works for people. This is some potential  good news out of the evil that the R’s did. 

  • Idiot

    the problem is, how many Ohioans like myself had to move to a different area due to fore closure, now I am in a republican district and I have no plans on ever voting for them

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