----------PAST KEY RACES----------
For 36 years, Ohio's 16th District was represented by Republican Ralph Regula. The Canton-based district was historically Republican, and before 2006 Regula had only fallen below 60 percent of the vote once.
But in that year, a little-known, underfunded ($0 raised) Democrat named Thomas Shaw held him to 58 percent. At the same time, Ted Strickland carried the district with 64 percent in the gubernatorial race, and liberal Democrat Sherrod Brown carried it with 57 percent in his Senate race. The 84-year-old Regula decided to call it a career. He was replaced by a Democrat, John Boccieri, who won by 10 points.
But while Boccieri's 16th was a swing district, he voted with his party most of the time. He was a high-profile vote for the health care bill, having voted against it the first time, but for it the second. He lost to Jim Renacci.
Redistricting placed Renacci in a more Republican district, but it also put him in one with Betty Sutton, a tenacious campaigner. Sutton has clearly kept pace with Renacci in the race, and this is one that's going down to the wire, regardless of the Republican orientation of the district.