Republicans Solidify Ohio with New Map

Stuart Rothenberg September 13, 2011 · 12:47 PM EDT

Instead of trying to increase their numbers in the state’s Congressional delegation, Oho Republicans have agreed to a plan that could take at least three and potentially four competitive U.S. House seats off the table, possibly solidifying their control of the delegation for the next decade. 

The key change involves the creation of a solidly Democratic seat in Franklin County (Columbus).

In turn, the districts of GOP Reps. Pat Tiberi, Steve Stivers and Steve Chabot will become dramatically more Republican, according to insiders familiar with the plan, which is expected to be released momentarily. A fourth GOP seat, held by freshman Bill Johnson, also becomes more Republican.

Stivers’ district, for example, goes from a 45% McCain district to an over 53% McCain district, while Tiberi’s district goes from just under 45% McCain to 54% McCain. Chabot’s district goes from just under 45% McCain to 52% McCain. The Arizona senator received 47% statewide in the 2008 election. 

Two Republican incumbents, Reps. Steve Austria and Michael Turner, are combined into a single district, while Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton is put into a district currently represented by Republican Rep. Jim Renacci.