The 2022 Election
Voting in the 2022 general election is done. Not all the votes are counted, but enough are that we know, with a few exceptions, what happened. Nationally, Democrats did much better than the media predicted and better than the Party holding the White House usually does in the mid-term election. The U.S. Senate seat from Georgia will be decided in a December 6 runoff election. However, Democrats have already won enough seats to have a majority in the U.S. Senate. The outcome of all U.S. House of Representatives races is not yet known. The media predict Republicans will get a very small majority.
The results were not as good in Ohio. Republicans won all the statewide races and will have large majorities in both houses of the General Assembly. There were a couple of positives. Democrats gained a seat in Congress because Greg Landsman defeated antique Republican Steve Chabot in the First District. Democrat Rachel Baker won the 27th Ohio House District, a formerly Republican seat in a district that borders Clermont County on the west.
In Clermont County, we saw some progress, but we still have a long way to go. Tim Ryan, Jennifer Brunner, Marilyn Zayas, Teri Jamison, and Brian Flick all won Milford City Precinct G. Tim Ryan also won Milford City Precincts B and E. Brian Flick also won Milford B and is tied in Miami Township A pending counting of provisional and late-arriving absentee ballots. Winning even two of the 110 precincts in House District 62 means that Brian has equaled the best performance by any local Democrat in at least ten years. If Miami A falls for Brian, that will be the best result for a local Democratic candidate in many more years.
All Democratic candidates on the ballot received at least 40% of the vote in eight of the County’s 168 precincts. At least one Democrat received at least 40% of the vote in another 21 precincts. All these precincts are on the west side of the County and 19 are in Loveland, Milford, or Miami Township. Conversely, there are 29 precincts in which no Democratic candidate reached 25% of the vote, and one in which no Democrat reached 15% of the vote. These precincts are spread across ten townships and three villages in the east, central, and southern parts of the County.
Despite some expectations otherwise, Clermont County voters stayed true to past practice on voting early versus voting on Election Day. Just under 33% of voters voted by mail or by early in-person voting in Batavia. Sixty-seven percent voted at their polling place on Election Day. Overall, 79,627 (54.71%) of the County’s 145,532 registered voters voted in the 2022 general election. These numbers will change a little when the official results are certified later this month. However, the proportions will be similar.
What It Means
Assuming Republicans won a narrow majority in the U.S. House, I expect the next two years on the national level will be largely political theater with a Republican House trying to impeach President Biden and House committee investigations seeking to create fodder for Tucker Carlson and the rest of the inappropriately named “Fox News.” Those efforts will compete for attention with the 2024 presidential contest which, at least on the Republican side, has already started. My personal hope is that Republicans nominate trump to run again. He has never won the popular vote and I do not believe he can win the electoral college in 2024, unless the U.S. Supreme Court empowers Republican-controlled state legislatures to disregard the vote in their states when selecting presidential electors, a circumstance which is not as unlikely as it sounds.
What the 2022 election means for Ohio was addressed very well in a piece by David Dewitt in the Ohio Capital Journal on Friday, November 11. You can find that piece on my Facebook page or at ohiocapitaljournal.com/11/11/in-new-post-roe-era-of-states-rights-voters-told-ohio-republicans-they-can-get-their-freak-on.
What the election means in Clermont County is that Democrats still have a tremendous amount of work to do. It is difficult to dispute that, for example, Tim Ryan and Brian Flick are better qualified to be United States Senator and Ohio State Representative than their opponents. Yet, neither received even 40% of the total vote in their races in Clermont County. I do not believe these results reflect the voters’ considered comparison between Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance or between Brian Flick and Jean Schmidt. Had the party affiliations in these two races been reversed, I have no doubt that Brian Flick would have won the 62d District by a larger margin than Schmidt did, and that Tim Ryan would have won the election and won at least 65% of the Clermont County vote. A majority of voters in Clermont County and statewide are voting not for individual candidates but for a party.
It seems clear that Democrats are not trusted by, and have no credibility with, a majority of Ohio voters and a large majority of Clermont County voters. That is due, in part, to factors outside our control. We cannot control who watches “Fox News” or what people read on the Internet. We cannot control the lies that are published in those media daily.
However, we can do a lot to start building trust and credibility in Ohio and in Clermont County.
One way we can start building trust and credibility is with the 2023 election. In 2023, we will be electing township trustees, city and village council members, and school board members. In Clermont County, these are all “non-partisan” races, meaning that candidates do not run with a party identification. We need to run good candidates in these races who can win on their individual merit. Democrats who win these offices will have an opportunity to build trust and credibility in their communities without the baggage of a party label. When these people later run for higher offices in partisan races, they will have changed some local perceptions of Democrats. Thus, it is difficult to over-emphasize the importance of finding good candidates to run in 2023 and supporting them so they win. This is the future of our Democratic Party.
Thanks Are Owed
Many people deserve thanks for what they did in the 2022 election. First, and in my mind foremost, great thanks are due to Brian Flick and Rich Perry, our two Clermont County candidates for the Ohio House. Being a candidate for public office is not easy. Both men took on that burden knowing that the likelihood they would win was low. However, both men stood up and did their best to show that there is a better way for Ohio and Clermont County.
Thanks are also due to everyone who worked for our candidates, whether that was knocking on doors, hosting an event, writing postcards, working outside a polling place on Election Day, placing signs, making calls, or giving money. All of you gave of your time and resources for no individual gain but with the goal of making our state and county a better place for everyone. Thank you all.
Last, but certainly not least, thanks are due to everyone, Democrats and Republicans, who worked at the polling places and who work as our Board of Elections staff. Elections simply cannot happen without the precinct election officials. They must receive training and work a very long day on Election Day for very little pay. While the results were disappointing, the election in Clermont County had no major problems. This is because of the hard work of the PEOs and our BOE staff. Thank you all.
Stay safe and start working on 2023!