GOP Banks on Inactive Ohio Voters for 2024 House Edge

House Republicans are counting on a secret weapon to secure big wins in the upcoming November elections: voters who did not participate in the 2022 midterms. In Ohio’s 13th Congressional District, GOP strategists are targeting these inactive voters, hoping to boost turnout for Republican candidates. Recent polling shows that a significant portion of these non-participating voters in the district are more likely to support former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden, giving Republicans a potential advantage in the upcoming elections.

Internal polling conducted by the National Republican Congressional Committee found that among the inactive voters in the district, 45% would back Trump in the presidential election, while only 38% would support Biden. The memo detailing the polling data also highlighted the district’s rightward trend over the past decade, indicating a shift towards conservative values and a potential shift in voting preferences. 


This strategy may prove to be problematic for incumbent Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-OH), who narrowly secured victory in the 2022 elections. Republicans argue that the lack of a viable candidate contributed to Sykes’s win and are confident that their new candidate, Kevin Coughlin, could appeal to the working-class nature of the district. They believe that Coughlin could benefit from a strong presidential ticket, as Trump’s presence on the ballot is expected to drive higher Republican turnout.

Democratic strategists, however, pushed back against this narrative, emphasizing Coughlin’s perceived shortcomings on key issues such as abortion and Social Security. They also noted the absence of polling data on a head-to-head matchup between Coughlin and Sykes, expressing confidence in the incumbent’s ability to secure reelection.

Republicans have outlined plans to focus on pressing national issues like the border and inflation as part of their strategy in Ohio’s key battleground state. Coughlin’s potential advantage may also be buoyed by the high-profile Ohio Senate race, which is expected to draw significant attention and resources from national Republicans.

The Washington Examiner reached out to a spokesperson for Sykes for comment, but there was no response at the time of publication. Ohio’s 13th District is anticipated to be one of the most fiercely contested House races of the 2024 cycle and could play a pivotal role in determining which party controls the lower chamber in the upcoming year. The district’s competitive nature, along with the potential impact of broader national issues, makes it a critical battleground for both parties as they gear up for the highly anticipated November elections.

Written by Staff Reports

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