United States Senate election in Ohio, 2004

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United States Senate election in Ohio, 2004
1998 ←
November 2, 2004 → 2010

  George Voinovich, official photo portrait, 2006.jpg Eric Fingerhut 103nd Congress 1993.jpg
Nominee George Voinovich Eric Fingerhut
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 3,464,651 1,961,249
Percentage 63.9% 36.1%

Ohio US Senate Election Results by County, 2004.svg

County results

U.S. Senator before election

George Voinovich

Elected U.S. Senator

George Voinovich

The 2004 United States Senate election in Ohio took place on November 2, 2004. It was concurrent with elections to the United States House of Representatives and the presidential election. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator George Voinovich won re-election to a second term.

Republican primary[edit]



Republican primary[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George Voinovich (Incumbent) 640,082 76.61%
Republican John Mitchel 195,476 23.39%
Total votes 835,558 100.00%

Democratic primary[edit]



Democratic primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Eric Fingerhut 672,989 70.79%
Democratic Norbert Dennerll 277,721 29.21%
Total votes 950,710 100.00%

General election[edit]



A popular U.S. Senator, Voinovich was the heavy favorite to win the election. He had over $9 million in the bank, while his opponent barely had $1.5 million.[3] Fingerhut's campaign was overshadowed by the possible campaign of Democrat and former Mayor of Cincinnati Jerry Springer, who eventually declined to run.

Voinovich is considered[by whom?] a moderate on some issues. He supports gun control and amnesty for illegal immigrants.[4]

Surprisingly,[citation needed] Voinovich's biggest advantage was getting support from the most Democratic-leaning county in the state, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Kerry carried it with almost 67% of the vote, by far his best performance in the state in 2004. It is the home of Cleveland and it is also most populous county in the state. Voinovich was a former mayor of Cleveland. In addition, he catered to Cleveland's large Jewish population by visiting Israel six times as a first-term U.S. Senator. He also consistently voted for aid to Israel through foreign appropriations bills. He's supported resolutions reaffirming Israel's right to self-defense and condemned Palestinian terrorist attacks.[5] In addition, Fingerhut's home base was in the Cleveland area, and therefore he had to cut in through the incumbent's home base in order to even make the election close.

In a September University of Cincinnati poll, the incumbent lead 64% to 34%.[6] In an October ABC News poll, Voinovich was winning 60% to 35%. He led across almost all demographic groups Only among Democrats, non-whites, liberals, and those who pick health care as #1 issue favor Fingerhut. It should be noted[citation needed] that the election coincided with the presidential election, where Ohio was a swing state. 27% of Voinovich's supporters preferred U.S. Senator John Kerry for president.[7]


2004 United States Senate election, Ohio[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George Voinovich (inc.) 3,464,651 63.85%
Democratic Eric Fingerhut 1,961,249 36.14%
Independent Helen Meyers 296 0.01%
Voter turnout 100.00%