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.”