Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R
Democratic candidate: Steve Driehaus, Incumbent
Republican candidate: Steve Chabot, former Congressman
Recent updates from the Crystal Ball
Freshman Rep. Steve Driehaus rode a wave of popular support for Barack Obama into Congress in 2008, but now the man he vanquished, former seven-term Congressman Steve Chabot, is back for a rematch and this time, the national electoral waves might be rolling in the opposite direction.
In a district that is over one quarter African-American, the candidacy of Barack Obama invigorated African-American voter turnout in the Ohio 1st District in 2008. This, along with a decline in suburban voter turnout associated with lackluster conservative support for John McCain, lifted Driehaus to a five-percentage point victory over incumbent Steve Chabot in 2008. However, with Barack Obama notably absent from the ticket in 2010, with opposition to healthcare and other Democratic initiatives mounting in this largely conservative district, a district that went for George Bush with 51 percent of the vote in 2004, and with the campaign of popular Republican Rob Portman for the U.S. Senate in 2010 expected to invigorate the Republican vote, there is a real feeling that a changing political landscape has the potential to shift the pendulum back in Chabot’s direction. Though Driehaus has the advantage of incumbency, this race is Leans Republican.