Communist Party USA

  The following report was prepared for the Feb. 13, 2022, National Committee meeting. Coming up to the 2022 midterm elections, the democratic movement in Ohio is getting battered by Republicans’ shameless gerrymandering at the level of the state legislature and congressional districts. The new maps for both have been rejected twice by the State Supreme Court, and the GOP-dominated Redistricting Commission has thumbed its nose at the Court and failed to meet a deadline for a new map. Despite a popular voter referendum several years ago that aimed to establish a “non-partisan” Redistricting Commission, the Commission is composed of mostly Republicans and is only required to “try” to map out fair districts. The Republican legislature came up with a map that secures 12 or even 13 of the 15 available congressional seats for Republicans, in a state where 45% of the voters vote for Democrats. As the Washington Post headline put it, “Ohio Voters Asked for Fairness in Redistricting. They Didn’t Get It.” Republicans are very good at drawing maps that maintain their advantage over the long term. They redrew the maps in 2010 to yield 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats, and none of those districts have changed parties in the ten years since. Is there no hope for the opposition party? Statewide elections are immune from gerrymandering, and there are two important ones coming up: for the governorship and for the Senate seat that Rob Portman is vacating. Democrats do not do that badly state-wide. In 2018, Democrat Sherrod Brown got more than 53% of the vote to hold his Senate seat and defeat Jay Mandel. That same year, Republican Mike DeWine just squeaked by with 50.4% of the vote to become governor. A window for the Dems? The race for governor this year will probably pit incumbent Mike DeWine against one of two Democrats: Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton or Mayor John Cranley of Cincinnati. The Cook Political Report rates that race “Likely Republican.” According to most pundits, there isn’t much chance for the Democrats in the Senate race either. Our own Political Action Commission doesn’t list Ohio among the battleground states, and the 538 Politics website also doesn’t view it as one of the seven “races to watch.” Is there no window for the Democrats in the Senate race? The Cook Political Report hints that things could turn around in the last few months before the election, which will be crucial in deciding how this race goes. That report also rates the Senate race with a more tentative “lean” rather than “likely” Republican. We must think back to early January 2020, when predictions were made about the races for Senate seats from Georgia. The victories of Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock in those contests seemed remote, but they were suddenly at hand. But they weren’t plucked out of the air: they were built by hard work registering voters and mobilizing supporters. There is every reason to try to prevent another Republican from replacing Portman, who has been a very conservative force in the Senate, who voted with Trump 88% of the time. (Recently and incredibly infuriatingly, Portman was one of three senators who pressured the archivist to refuse to certify the Equal Rights Amendment, consistent with his history of anti-women political action.) It was the Republican advantage in the Senate that denied Merrick Garland a Supreme Court seat and delivered instead Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The Senate candidates The three front-runners for the Republican nomination are all loyal Trump sycophants. Josh Mandel fully endorses the Big Lie and believes that the damage…

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GOP’s shameless gerrymandering shapes Ohio’s political landscape