Thursday, May 04, 2006

CQ calls OH-01 "highly competitive"

Below is a recent Congressional Quarterly article about the OH-01 and OH-15 House races. Important to note is that Cranley has already raised $535,000, while Chabot, the 6-term incumbent Republican, has only raised $26,000 more.

Here's the whole article:

OH 1, 15: Serious Challengers Await Pair of GOP Incumbents
By Greg Giroux, May 03, 2006

Republican Reps. Steve Chabot of Ohio’s 1st District and Deborah Pryce of the state’s 15th District were unopposed for renomination in Tuesday’s primary. But that may be about the only easy part of this campaign year for the two political veterans. After a series of routine re-election campaigns, both have drawn tough Democratic challengers this year: Chabot will face Democrat John Cranley, a Cincinnati city councilman, while Pryce has drawn Mary Jo Kilroy, a Franklin County commissioner.

With just more than six months to go before Election Day, Cranley and Kilroy appear formidable enough as challengers to warrant changes in’s ratings of both contests: The races in Ohio 1 and 15 have been moved to Leans Republican from Republican Favored.

The changes effectively place both districts as among the three dozen or so that presently considers highly competitive.

The rationale for the shifts includes the difficult political environment facing Republicans in Washington and in Ohio. In addition, Cranley and Kilroy have amassed sizable campaign treasuries, according to first-quarter reports recently filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Cranley reported $535,000 in overall receipts and $469,000 in cash on hand as of April 12; Kilroy’s reports showed $448,000 in receipts and $352,000 available cash.

Their strong early fundraising was a big reason Cranley and Kilroy were identified by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) last week as among 22 candidates in that would receive additional financial and strategic assistance under its so-called “Red to Blue” program.

Cranley and Kilroy will be able to run far more sophisticated campaigns than did the little-known 2004 challengers to Chabot and Pryce. Chabot opponent Greg Harris spent $87,000 two years ago and Pryce opponent Mark P. Brown did not even meet the $5,000 spending threshold to file with the Federal Election Commission; both Democrats never threatened the incumbents and ended up with 40 percent of the vote.

There are some other similarities in Chabot and Pryce’s political situations. Their districts have substantial urban components that leans Democratic — most of Cincinnati in the 1st and much of Columbus in the 15th — as well as suburban territory that leans Republican. These demographics add up to districts that appear as just marginally Republican-leaning, if at all: Bush was favored over Democratic challenger John Kerry in both the 1st and 15th by just 50 percent to 49 percent in 2004.

Even though none of the four combatants had a contested primary on Tuesday, major parties’ House campaign committees highlighted Ohio 1 and Ohio 15 in their primary post-mortems.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), in a memo Wednesday, noted that Cranley took a respectable 45 percent of the vote when he challenged Chabot in 2000, when Cranley was a little-known lawyer. Cranley has since served more than five years on the Cincinnati city council and has become a prodigious vote-getter.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), though, noted that Chabot’s Republican base in the 1st was bolstered by redistricting since he and Cranley first faced off. Under the old lines, 2000 Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore outran Bush there by 50 percent to 47 percent.

“Democrats are fooling themselves if they think they can launch a serious challenge to a six-term congressman with strong grass-roots support in Steve Chabot,” the NRCC argued in a memo.

Chabot reported raising $561,000 this year, through April 12. He has $1.1 million left to spend, including money left over from his recent easy re-election campaigns, and he certainly will far surpass the relatively meager $479,000 he spent on his uneventful 2004 contest.

The DCCC said that Kilroy already is polling competitively with Pryce in the 15th District. Kilroy’s campaign has noted that Franklin County, where she has twice been elected commissioner and which includes Columbus, accounts for 87 percent of the population in the 15th.

The NRCC touted Pryce’s vote-getting prowess and described the House Republican Conference chairwoman as “a well-respected member of the House GOP leadership whose moderate profile fits her district well.”

Pryce, though a spokeswoman for the party’s leadership on most issues, differs with most other House Republicans on some social issues, backing abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research.

Pryce also has been preparing for what should be her toughest race to date. She reported raising $742,000 between the beginning of this year and April 12, and has $1.5 million available to spend.

Please visit’s Election Forecaster to view ratings for all races.


At 10:46 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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