The election season in 2024 is shaping up to become a historic event for many reasons. With so many voters expressing unhappiness with the establishment candidates for president, and a general dissatisfaction with politics as usual, it could also be a great year for political change across the board.
Ohio presents a compelling case for independent political candidates in the 2024 elections. Known for its varied political landscape and evolving voter concerns, this bellwether state offers a unique opportunity for new political voices.
Ohio has been a significant battleground state in recent presidential elections. Its status as a swing state was cemented in 2004 when it played a pivotal role in George W. Bush's re-election. However, the state narrowly swung toward Obama in 2008 and 2012. In the 2016 and 2020 elections, Donald Trump won Ohio by significant margins.
These swings from one party to another indicate the state's fluctuating political leanings and signal the potential impact of independent candidates. Although its voting history seems to indicate a conservative leaning, recent activity in the Ohio legislature could signal that voters are ready for a change.
In August 2023, voters soundly rejected Ballot Issue 1, which would have required a supermajority of 60% to pass certain legislation. Then in November, Ohioans’ resoundingly voted in favor of abortion access and recreational marijuana use.
If you need further proof of the potential impact of independent candidates in Ohio, here are seven more reasons to launch your 2024 independent political campaign in the Buckeye State:
Ohio has a unique voter registration system where voters do not register with a political party. This nonpartisan approach empowers independent candidates because they can appeal to a wide, politically diverse electorate.
Ohioans have a wide array of concerns, ranging from healthcare and the residual effects of COVID-19 to the economy and income inequality, racism, and criminal justice. The recent environmental catastrophe after the East Palestine train derailment also puts infrastructure and the environment front and center in the minds of many Ohio residents.
Add to that list concerns about housing, education, and immigration, and you will find rich ground for independent candidates to address specific local and state issues.
The 2024 elections in Ohio include races for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, other state executives, the State Supreme Court, and intermediate appellate courts. Locally, several counties are electing new city council members, sheriffs, treasurers, and county commissioners.
This variety offers multiple platforms for independent candidates to make their mark.
Ohio’s history as a swing state suggests that independent candidates can play a crucial role in influencing undecided or swing voters, especially in tight races. In today’s political climate, the right independent candidate could have a huge impact on the future of representation in Ohio.
With such a broad spectrum of voter concerns, independent candidates can introduce innovative solutions and fresh perspectives that resonate with the electorate. For example, many voters in Ohio are eager to try alternative voting processes. Ranked choice voting (RCV) has been endorsed by many organizations in the state, including Cleveland VOTES, Veterans for Political Innovation, the Hamilton County Libertarian Party, the Ohio Green Party, the American Solidarity Party of Ohio, and more.
These ideas for reform may scare establishment politicians, but independents can help usher in sweeping electoral change.
Independent candidates often bring attention to issues that may be overlooked by major parties, providing a voice to underrepresented concerns and communities. This is especially true at the local level, where independent candidates are closer to the issues that voters care about.
Without the constraints of party politics, independents have the flexibility to tailor their campaigns to the unique needs and interests of Ohio's diverse population. Independent candidates often rely on small-donor campaign contributions, which means they are more responsive to their supporters rather than to big corporate sponsors.
As the political landscape evolves and voter dissatisfaction grows, there is an increasing demand for diverse representation that reflects the state’s varied demographics and interests. This provides opportunities for independent candidates to run and win at all levels of government in Ohio.
Although the filing deadline to compete in the March primaries was December 20, 2023 and has already passed, the deadline for independent and third-party candidates is August 7, 2024, and the filing deadline for write-in candidates is August 26, 2024.
The primary election in Ohio is set for March 19, 2024, followed by the general election on November 5, 2024. This schedule allows independent candidates ample time to engage with voters and build their campaigns.
Are you inspired to be a part of Ohio's vibrant political scene? Whether you're a seasoned campaigner or brand new to politics, Good Party Academy is here to support you. Our platform offers tools and resources for candidates from all backgrounds to run effective independent political campaigns.
We're committed to helping you navigate the complexities of campaigning at any level, ensuring that your voice is heard and your community is represented fairly. Join the Good Party team and start your journey to make a real impact in Ohio's 2024 elections.
Together, we can change the American political landscape to one that’s more responsive and representative!