Ohio's 16th Congressional District elections, 2012

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Ohio's 16th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
March 6, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Jim Renacci Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Jim Renacci Republican Party
James Renacci.jpg

Ohio U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Ohio.png
The 16th Congressional District of Ohio held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Incumbent Jim Renacci won the election.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
December 7, 2011
March 6, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Ohio has a mostly closed primary system, in which voters must vote in the same party's primary as in the previous election, or register with the other party to switch.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by February 5. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 7.[2]

See also: Ohio elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was James B. Renacci (R) who has served since 2011.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Ohio's 16th Congressional District is located in the north-central portion of the state and includes Lorain, Medina, Summit, Portage, Stark, and Wayne counties.[3]

This is the 16th Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Betty Sutton
Republican Party Jim RenacciGreen check mark transparent.png

March 6, 2012 primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Libertarian PartyLibertarian candidate

Note: Jeffrey J. Blevins withdrew from the race in August.[4]

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, Ohio District 16 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Betty Sutton 48% 170,600
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJames B. Renacci Incumbent 52% 185,165
Total Votes 355,765
Source: Ohio Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

In the final two weeks before the election, candidate James B. Renacci changed his plans to air tv advertisements. He had slots reserved for these two weeks, but since Cleveland is home to close races for Senate, House and Presidential elections, he decided that the market was saturated and that continuing to advertise on TV would not help him reach undecided voters. His opponent, 13th District incumbent Betty Sutton, continued to advertise.[5]


Using the Federal Election Commission's October Quarterly campaign finance filings, the Brennan Center for Justice at The New York University School of Law published a report on October 22nd focusing on the 25 House races rated most competitive by The Cook Political Report, including the race for Ohio's 16th. The report examined the relative spending presence of non-candidate groups, candidates, and small donors in these races - "which will likely determine which party will control the House."[6]

Ohio's 16th was considered to be a Tossup according to the New York Times race ratings. Democratic incumbent Betty Sutton faced off against Republican incumbent Jim Renacci in one of the two incumbent vs incumbent races in the nation. The district's new boundaries favor Renacci as does his 3:2 cash advantage in the race.[8]

The Washington Post listed the House of Representatives elections in Ohio in 2012 as one of the 10 states that could determine whether Democrats would retake the House or Republicans would hold their majority in 2013.[9] Ohio tied with Pennsylvania for 9th on the list.[9]

Incumbent Jim Renacci was a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, a program to help House Republicans stay on offense and increase their majority in 2012.[10]

Impact of Redistricting

Because of redistricting, Renacci faced current 13th District incumbent Rep. Betty Sutton (D). Sutton's home was moved into the 16th District.[11]

The 16th District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[12][13]

Registration statistics

As of October 29, 2012, District 17 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the Ohio Secretary of State:

Ohio Congressional District 17[14]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 17 499,504 76,869 114,517 308,118 Republican 48.98% N/A
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Ohio's 16th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[15]

  • 2012: 44D / 56R
  • 2010: 45D / 55R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Ohio's 16th Congressional District has a PVI of R+5, which is the 191st most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 52-48 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 55-45 percent over John Kerry (D).[16]

Campaign contributions

The race had attracted $6.8 million in outside spending since Labor Day. $3,245,017 had been spent helping Democrat Betty Sutton while $3,534,313 was spent to aid Republican Jim Renacci.[17]

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are candidate reports.

Betty Sutton

Betty Sutton (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[18]March 31, 2012$438,897.49$391,357.30$(46,489.16)$783,765.63
July Quarterly[19]July 15, 2012$783,765.63$294,127.70$(174,182.85)$903,710.48
Running totals

Jim Renacci

Jim Renacci(2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[20]March 31, 2012$1,027,173.04$322,930.97$(119,075.03)$1,231,028.98
July Quarterly[21]July 15$1,231,028.98$504,369.99$(186,106.67)$1,549,292.30
Running totals

District History


On November 2, 2010, Jim Renacci won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated John A. Boccieri, Jeffrey J. Blevins, and Robert L. Ross in the general election.[22]

U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio Congressional District 16 Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJames B. Renacci 52.1% 114,652
     Democratic John A. Boccieri 41.3% 90,833
     Libertarian Jeffrey J. Blevins 6.6% 14,585
     Write-in Robert L. Ross 0% 67
Total Votes 220,137

See also


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Ohio," accessed November 11, 2012
  2. Ohio Secretary of State, "FAQ," accessed June 29, 2012
  3. Ohio Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed August 9, 2012
  4. Cleveland.com, "Low-profile Libertarian candidate Jeffrey Blevins quits congressional race," August 23, 2012
  5. NYT: The Caucus, "Ohio House Candidate Cancels Advertising Buy" accessed October 26, 2012
  6. Brennan Center for Justice, "Election Spending 2012: 25 Toss-Up House Races," October 22, 2012
  7. The Cook Political Report, "House: Race Ratings," updated October 18, 2012
  8. New York Times, "House Race Ratings," accessed August 10, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 Washington Post, "The 10 states that will determine control of the House in 2012," accessed April 25, 2012
  10. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  11. Vindy.com Redistricting plan to be unveiled December 7, 2011
  12. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Ohio's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  13. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  14. Ohio Secretary of State, "Precinct-By-Precinct Data," March 6, 2012
  15. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Ohio," September 2012
  16. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  17. The New York Times, "Outside Spending in Key House Races," October 25, 2012
  18. [hhttp://query.nictusa.com/pdf/143/12951433143/12951433143.pdf#navpanes=0 Federal Election Commission, "Betty Sutton April Quarterly," accessed July 17, 2012]
  19. Federal Election Commission, "Betty Sutton July Quarterly," accessed October 5, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Jim Renacci April Quarterly," accessed July 17, 2012
  21. Federal Election Commission, "Jim Renacci July Quarterly," accessed October 5, 2012
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013