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Analysis: Steve Chabot lost a race he shouldn’t have run in the first place

Steve Chabot knew it was coming. He needed to.

It was a locomotive rushing throughout the tracks and he could not keep away from it.

It ended Tuesday night time with Democrat Greg Landsman of Mount Washington defeating Republican of Westwood in the 1stSt congressional district, a seat Chabot has held in all however two of the previous 28 years.

The irony is that this: The identical Ohio Republicans in the state legislature that gave him a comparatively secure district for the final decade abruptly pulled the rug out from underneath him in 2022 and gave him a newly delineated district that Chabot was named from the begin reigning underdog. stroll.

The Republican legislative management in Columbus, underneath stress to create a map that will give Democrats some winnable districts, determined that Steve Chabot was expendable.

Tuesday night time after conceding to Landsman in what he described a “short” phone callHe stood earlier than reporters and supporters at a guard occasion at the downtown Hamilton County GOP headquarters and nearly mentioned he did not stand a probability.

The actuality, Chabot mentioned, is that the district was redrawn about 9 proportion factors from one which went for Donald Trump in 2020 to at least one that went for Joe Biden.

“It’s the toughest Republican-held district in the country, except for California,” Chabot instructed reporters. “In California there have been three more durable districts. But the different 49 states have been the hardest.”

He knew this, but he ran away anyway and ended up being a guest at a house party who didn’t even go in the wee hours.

In 2011, when the GOP legislature last redefined congressional districts, Chabot had returned to the US House of Representatives just a year earlier after a two-year absence.

In 2008, Chabot lost the seat he had held for 14 years when Democrat Steve Driehaus was swept into office by the Barack Obama wave.

Chabot knew about members of Congress being swept out of office by a voter-led tsunami. In 1994, Chabot had done the same to Democratic incumbent David Mann, making Mann a one-term congressman by riding the Newt Gingrich-inspired wave of the “Treaty with America.”

Driehaus retained the seat for one term, but by the time the 2010 elections were held, Obama’s zeal had waned and Chabot was able to defeat Driehaus.

And he’s kept it ever since, not least thanks to the new 1St District map drawn by Statehouse Republicans in 2011.

They grafted Warren County to the 1stSt District, one of the most Republican counties in Ohio. Along with the West Side of Cincinnati and all of western Hamilton County, where Chabot was very popular, he had a district where Democrats like Aftab Pureval and Kate Schroeder could run but not defeat the incumbent GOP.

This year, however, Republicans have stunned Chabot by redrawing his district yet again and making his life miserable.

March 2, 2022 Ohio Convention Map

Ohio Redistribution Commission



Map of Congress adopted by the Ohio District Commission by a vote of 5 to 2 on March 2, 2022.

Warren County stayed. But western Hamilton County was taken away and given to Warren Davidson of Troy, a Republican congressman who seems to be in favor with the Ohio Republican Party.

And as a substitute of simply the West Side of Cincinnati, the place Chabot does effectively in locations like Price Hill, Covedale, and infrequently in his hometown of Westwood, the total metropolis of Cincinnati and all of japanese Hamilton County grew to become the 1stSt District.

The metropolis of Cincinnati is in fact a very democratic place. Note the proven fact that eight of the 9 seats on the Cincinnati City Council are held by Democrats.

As somebody who has lined Chabot since his time on the Cincinnati City Council, it appeared to me that he had lost his campaigning zeal.

The congressman was once in every single place, handing out his signature yellow plastic cups at church festivals and vacation parades throughout the district.

He even cruised the West Side in his gas-guzzling Buick land yacht, personally delivering shipyard indicators and hammering them into the floor for pleasant owners.

I bear in mind he as soon as proudly confirmed me that he had measured the Buick’s trunk and that it matched his outsized yard indicators completely.

This time, nevertheless, he actually wasn’t seen fairly often. He let the 30-second assault advert do the speaking.

It labored in Warren County, the place 66% of voters backed him Tuesday. But it failed miserably in the metropolis of Cincinnati and even in suburban Anderson Township, the place the Democrats’ coordinated marketing campaign helped Landsman drastically.

In his televised debates with Landsman, Chabot typically appeared as an indignant previous man, waving his fist and yelling at the boy to get off his garden.

He pointed the finger at Landsman and repeated his flimsy declare that Landsman “defunded the police” at the metropolis council.

And he went on and on about “AOC’s Green New Deal,” as if Landsman was championing it. And he by no means appeared to get uninterested in placing Landsman on as chief adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as a result of years in the past Landsman had some low-level job sorting mail or one thing in Pelosi’s congressional workplace.

It was all irrelevant nonsense. But when his opponent wished to debate Chabot’s vote to not affirm Pennsylvania’s electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election, Chabot mentioned it wasn’t value mentioning — the solely issues that mattered have been inflation and crime.

Except when he wished to speak about AOC and Pelosi.

So he lost the election. Stick a fork in it; He’s carried out.

It’s arduous to say how lengthy Landsman can maintain the seat. Republicans in the Legislature are licking their chops as a result of this card is barely good for the 2022 election cycle. And now the State House GOP will have a docile Ohio Supreme Court to sanction any new playing cards they develop.

Stay tuned.

The reality is that Chabot ought to by no means have run this yr. And I believe he is aware of.

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