Ohio 2022 Election Recap: GOP gains strength in Ohio and Makes History

The 2022 Ohio General Election saw Republicans cement the state as a GOP stronghold. While Democrats were able to limit electoral loses at both the congressional and state legislature level including in Michigan and Pennsylvania, Ohio’s GOP made a clean sweep of all the Ohio Statewide offices including the highly contested U.S. Senate race and increased majorities in both the Ohio Senate and Ohio House.

Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted cruised to victory defeating former City of Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. DeWine & Husted won all but three of Ohio’s 88 counties securing 63% of the overall vote on their way to a second four-year term as governor. Likewise, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Auditor of State Keith Faber, Attorney General Dave Yost, and Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague all easily defeated their challengers gaining approximately 60% of the total vote. 

J.D. Vance won the most watched contest of this election cycle to replace retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman by handily defeating Congressman Tim Ryan by an almost 7% margin. Vance succeeded in his first attempt for office having never been a candidate prior to the primary and general election making him the first candidate to secure victory for the U.S. Senate in Ohio having never ran. 

The Ohio House Republicans also made history by achieving the largest majority since the state established the current 99 seat body in the 1960’s. The GOP majority won a likely net pick-up of three seats bringing Republican majority to potentially 68 members making the partisan breakdown of the chamber to 68-31. Similarly, the Ohio Senate gained an additional seat bringing the Republican majority to 26-7 members something that hasn’t been achieved since 1951.

Although Republicans increased their majorities in the state legislature the election also highlighted a continuing trend in Ohio’s large urban counties, which have seen increased support for Democrats during the past decade while formally strong democrat counties and Ohio’s rural counties have now elected more republicans. One example of growing Democrat strength is Hamilton County where a GOP held Ohio House legislative seat flipped to democrats and the minority party was able to defend a targeted seat. Additionally, Congressman Steve Chabot lost his bid for re-election resulting in a rare Congressional seat pick-up the Democrats. On the other side, once reliably Democrat Trumbull County, Ohio voted for Governor DeWine by 67% and re-elected two GOP members of the Ohio legislature.

Another closely watch issue during this election cycle was the inclusion of partisan affiliation for candidates running for the Ohio Supreme Court and the Ohio Appellate Court. 2022 was the first election in Ohio where the party label as used and based on the election results having the party affiliation severed as a benefit to the winners of the Supreme Court contest, with all three judges receiving similar vote percentages as the other statewide elected candidates including for Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, diverting from recent election trends where voters had limited insight to which party a judicial candidate was affiliated with.