Press Release

New Report by Working America Shows Fissures Emerging in Ohio’s Reliably Republican 12th Congressional District


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Working America released its newest Front Porch Focus Group report based on 401 in-person conversations with working-class voters in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District (OH-12). Going door to door, Working America engaged voters in conversations about what issues matter most to them, how they feel about the economy and key issues like jobs, education, infrastructure and perceptions of elected leaders.

Considered the heart of “Kasich territory,” OH-12’s conservative bloc may not prove to be as reliable this election cycle. The survey results found low net approval for President Donald Trump, especially compared to similar districts such as PA-18 and IA-01. The report, which combines qualitative and quantitative data, also suggests Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown has an opportunity to pick up support from swing and likely Republican voters.

“Ohio is won and lost based on who moves moderates. If progressives are ambitious about engaging with persuadable voters in places like Mansfield and Gahanna, they have a clear opportunity to win back lost support and reverse the shift rightward in Ohio,” said Matt Morrison, executive director of Working America.

Canvassers held conversations during April and May in the district, which contains communities north and east of Columbus, including Zanesville, Mansfield and Newark.

Notable findings from the report include:

  • Trump has lower net approval in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District than in other swing areas, regardless of voters’ partisan leanings.
  • More than half of voters say there’s no one in elected office who is fighting for working people.
  • Sen. Brown has an opening with swing and likely Republican voters.
  • Infrastructure is a winning issue for progressives in Ohio.

Working America has been a mobilizing force in Ohio’s cities as well as smaller and more rural communities for 15 years, with more 1 million members across Ohio’s 88 counties. In the latest Front Porch Focus Group report, findings suggest a path forward for progressive candidates hoping to reclaim votes and begin the process of long-term realignment in the state. Working America uses front porch focus groups — individual conversations with voters at their front doors — to get qualitative data about voters’ opinions. These front porch focus groups add valuable information to data gathered through more traditional opinion research.

Notably in January 2016, Working America’s front porch focus group flagged that white working-class voters were favoring then-candidate Trump. At a time when Trump was widely viewed as having no chance to win, Working America warned that he was appealing to white voters, based upon 1,700 conversations in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

You can read Working America’s newest report, “Fissures Emerge in Ohio’s Reliably Republican CD-12,” and its previous reports at

Nora Langan
(202) 638-6287
[email protected]


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