New report spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for Emilia Sykes

May 15, 2024

new report spells TROUBLE for Emilia Sykes, who is one of the most vulnerable House Democrats across the country. 

The report shows how Ohio’s Thirteenth Congressional District is one of the best pickup opportunities for Republicans to grow the majority in the House, and how Emilia Sykes’ extreme positions are out of touch with her voters.

Read the report here or see excerpts below.

Republicans lean on inactive midterm voters to flip key House seat in Ohio: Memo
Washington Examiner
Cami Mondeaux
May 15, 2024

House Republicans are relying on voters who did not participate in the 2022 midterm elections to deliver big wins in November, looking to the voting bloc as their secret weapon to flip key House seats and expand on their historically slim majority. 
Republican strategists in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District are homing in on voters who abstained from casting their ballots in 2022, hoping to build on the party’s momentum over the last decade to produce high turnout for GOP candidates. Recent polling shows those inactive voters in the district, which is considered to be one of the most competitive of the 2024 cycle, are more likely to back former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden, giving Republicans an edge as they head into November. 
Among voters who did not turn out in 2022, 45% of those in the district say they’d back Trump in the presidential election compared to just 38% who said they’d vote for Biden, according to internal polling conducted by the National Republican Congressional Committee obtained by the Washington Examiner. 
The polling memo cited data showing the district increasingly trending to the right over the last decade, with then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney losing the district by double digits in 2012 before Trump narrowed that margin to just 2 points in 2016. Biden won the district by just 2.8 points. 
“This group has a higher concentration of non-college educated voters and includes 27,000 modeled Republican voters,” the memo states. “These same voters pushed the district 9 points to the right in 2016 and will help Republicans win in 2024.”

That could spell trouble for incumbent Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-OH), who narrowly won the district in 2022 in an upset victory over Republican candidate Madison Gesiotto Gilbert. However, Republican strategists argue their problem was that the party “didn’t have a viable candidate to vote for,” leading to Sykes’s victory. 

“President Trump, for a lot of these competitive congressional races, basically supplies your floor,” a source with knowledge of Coughlin’s campaign strategy told the Washington Examiner. “His voters are coming out … unlike they did in the year that he’s not on the ballot. And so it’s kind of raises the floor for a lot of these candidates.”
That means Coughlin would only need to outperform Trump’s presidential ticket by roughly 3 percentage points in the district, he said, which “seems pretty doable for a targeted campaign.”
Another national GOP operative familiar with the party’s strategy said Republicans are likely to capitalize on that, along with Sykes’s status as a relatively unknown freshman, to flip the seat. 
“We certainly can capitalize on that by getting Kevin out there early and defining him in a positive light,” the operative said, pointing to the memo’s objective to paint Coughlin as someone who can “connect with the working-class nature of the district.”

Republicans say they plan to focus on other high-profile issues, including the border and inflation, as part of their strategy in the key battleground state.
Coughlin could also benefit from the high-profile Ohio Senate race between Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and GOP candidate Bernie Moreno, which is expected to attract millions of dollars from national Republicans as they seek to flip the vulnerable Senate seat. 
“If voters are seeing the ads for Bernie and Trump out in their district, I think there’ll be — Coughlin will be able to ride the coattails of those ads a little bit,” the operative said. 
Coughlin, for his part, is not new to challenging Democrats for their seats — and winning. The former state representative managed to flip a blue Ohio House district in 1997 and was reelected twice. He also won election to an Ohio Senate seat in a toss-up district in 2002, winning reelection in 2006. 
Ohio’s 13th District is one of the most competitive House races of the 2024 cycle and could determine which party wins control of the lower chamber next year. The district is rated as R+1 and has been deemed a toss-up by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. 


Read more here.