Ohio House Races: A Midterm Bellwether for Endangered Dems

Since taking office, President Obama has visited Ohio, the nation's premier political bellwether state, more than any other -- 10 times, to promote and defend his embattled economic agenda and to blast Republican opposition.

But right now, the Buckeye state has double-digit unemployment. The president's job approval has hovered in the 40s and five Democratic incumbents in Congress are at risk of defeat.

In Ohio's 10th Congressional District, Cincinnati freshman Democrat Steve Driehaus trails in a rematch with Republican former Rep. Steve Chabot, whom Driehaus beat two years ago.

The two have been locked in a nasty exchange in campaign ads.

"Driehaus betrayed us, voting for the Washington health care power grab," says a Chabot attack ad. "Driehaus votes with Pelosi's Washington agenda 94 percent of the time."

"Steve Chabot never did anything," a Driehaus attack ad says. "He's failed the people of Cincinnati for 14 years, and they're not gonna have him back."

Over in Columbus Ohio's 15th District, two-term Democratic Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy trails Republican state Sen. Steve Stivers in a race in which the two have offered very different portrayals of Kilroy.

"She's voted with Nancy Pelosi 98 percent of the time, voted for health care, all the bailouts, cap and trade, and everything up and down the agenda," a Stivers ad says.

"As a new member, I decided to lead by example," a Kilroy ad says. "I froze my own pay, voted against the bank bailout and took on Wall Street to protect your money."

In the 16th Congressional District in Canton, incumbent Democrat John Boccieri trails. He showed up at GOP businessman Jim Renacci's event unannounced Tuesday and recorded it.

Near Akron, in the 13th District, Democratic incumbent Betty Sutton trails GOP businessman Tom Ganley.

And around Zaneville in the 18th District, Democratic incumbent Zack Space faces a stiff  challenge from Republican state Sen. Bob Gibb.