Ohio 14th District
The imprint of the westward track of New England Yankee migration is still apparent today on the shores of Lake Erie in northern Ohio. The Yankees, cooped up in New England for 200 years, shot west across the country through upstate New York, across Ohio and Michigan to Chicago, and on to Kansas and southern California in just two or three generations, providing inspiration, manpower and technical might for the Union victory in the Civil War and leaving their imprint along the way. One place they stopped was the Western Reserve, the northeast corner of Ohio, created for the excess population of Connecticut. Its towns, colleges and cultural institutions were established by Yankees. This area produced some of the nation’s strongest opposition to slavery and strongest support of the Union armies and the Republican Party; Lake Erie ports were prime transit points for the Underground Railroad to Canada. Its thrifty, hardworking, well-educated citizens built communities with fine schools and, with their accumulated savings, invested in what became some of the nation’s leading industries. A century ago, that brought great masses of immigrants to Cleveland and the other cities of northeast Ohio. Now, like Connecticut and Massachusetts, it may be moving toward a post-industrial economy. Factory employment has dropped. Chrysler is scheduled to close its Twinsburg factory and lay off 1,250 people in late 2010. But total jobs are holding steady. Small, adaptive business units with highly skilled workers are the growth sectors.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 14th Congressional District of Ohio takes in parts or all of seven counties of northeast Ohio and the old Western Reserve. It includes Lake County, northeast of Cleveland, and Geauga County, with prosperous suburbs amid Western Reserve villages that still yield 25% of the state’s maple syrup even though the loss of farmland has cut production. Ashtabula, home to 17 covered bridges and several wineries, is in the district, as is the northern part of Trumbull County, which is industrial. The district includes the affluent suburbs at the eastern edge of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County, the comfortable suburbs in northern Summit County and some of Portage County to the east. In the 19th century, the Western Reserve was heavily Republican. The congressman from the area from 1863 to 1880 was James Garfield, a Civil War general who was elected president in 1880 and assassinated the following year. In the 1930s, the area became politically competitive, as Cleveland became heavily Democratic, and it has remained so in most years since. But the district was designed to gather together Republican territory in the Western Reserve, and it voted twice in presidential elections for Republican George W. Bush. In 2008, Republican nominee John McCain won the district, 49.4%-49.2%.