OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
There is a growing concern in some political circles that Republicans who control the Ohio legislature may be trying to redistrict Rep. Jim Jordan (R) out of his seat.
“Ohio lawmakers are scheduled to hold hearings next week on a pair of maps drawn up in the redistricting process ahead of next year’s midterms after the state lost a seat in the last census,” The Federalist noted on Friday.
“One map proposed by Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate chamber is raising eyebrows by adding urban Democratic strongholds to U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan’s rural conservative district. Jordan is the state’s most prominent House member,” the outlet continued, noting further that Jordan is also the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Federalist co-founder Sean Davis appeared incredulous in a tweet containing the proposed maps.
“Am I crazy, or does this map effectively re-district GOP Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4) out of his seat by eliminating a bunch of conservative rural areas and adding in Democrat stronghold Columbus, thereby setting up a race between him and incumbent Democrat Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3)?” he wrote.
Am I crazy, or does this map effectively re-district GOP Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4) out of his seat by eliminating a bunch of conservative rural areas and adding in Democrat stronghold Columbus, thereby setting up a race between him and incumbent Democrat Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3)? https://t.co/Ly7eIZuIuE
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 3, 2021
“This Ohio Senate GOP map would gerrymander Rep. Jim Jordan, a leading Trump ally and the top R in the House Judiciary Committee, out of his district,” added New York Post reporter Juliegrace Brufke in a tweet, indicating that Davis was not alone in what he believes he is seeing. “He would be put against Dem Rep. Joyce Beatty.”
This Ohio Senate GOP map would gerrymander Rep. Jim Jordan, a leading Trump ally and the top R in the House Judiciary Committee, out of his district. He would be put against Dem Rep. Joyce Beatty. https://t.co/Ht5ns9bhZH
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) November 3, 2021
According to the maps, there is a shift in Ohio’s 4th District “from including several counties in the north to half of Delaware County and portions of Franklin County,” where the capital of Columbus is located, The Federal reported, adding:
The district’s core counties of Allen, Auglaize, Shelby Logan, Champaign, and Union would remain the same, home to nearly 345,000 people. About another 107,000 in the district would come from suburban Delaware, and 331,000 from Franklin. Communities in Franklin County, including Clintonville and Linden, are large Democratic neighborhoods currently represented by Rep. Joyce Beatty, a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
While population puts the new Fourth Congressional District in jeopardy of a 50/50 race at first glance, electoral margins across each county still put the race in Jordan’s favor. Looking at last year’s results in the presidential contest, as opposed to congressional since Delaware and Franklin voted for different candidates, President Donald Trump carried Allen, Auglaize, Shelby Logan, Champaign, and Union together three-to-one.
Former President Donald Trump won Delaware County by seven points though many of its more densely populated precincts went for President Biden by double digits. Meanwhile, Democrats carried Franklin County by 31 points though Jordan’s district would only take in, at most, one-third of the country.
“In order to overcome vote totals in the seven GOP-dominated northwest neighboring counties, the Democrat’s margins would have to be far higher,” The Federalist noted further.
The outlet speculates that continued demographic changes that flipped Virginia and Georgia blue could befall Ohio or, at a minimum, Jordan’s redrawn district, but there is hope after Republicans managed to take the governorship, lieutenant governorship, the attorney general’s office, and the state Assembly.
“The swing suburbs possibly adopted by Jordan include communities such as Westerville, routinely at the center of presidential campaigns, which are also home to a different brand of Republican,” The Federalist adds, suggesting that perhaps the ultra-conservative Jordan is too much for the more moderate GOP in that area.
“Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who lives in Westerville, represented Delaware County in both Congress and the state Senate before a temporary retirement from office in 2001,” the outlet noted.
Still, one state Republican defended the maps.
“We believe our proposal is constitutional and compliant and we look forward to hearing the process continuing next week,” Ohio Senate Majority Caucus Spokesman John Fortney told The Federalist.