2016 presidential election

For local political party leaders, the trouble with presidential election years is that they don't happen in a vacuum.

While there is no more important decision voters will make on Nov. 8 than who will be the 45th President of the United States, a county party chairman has to worry about all the down-ticket races as well – the county commissioners, the county office-holders, the local judgeships.

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We're in the middle of a full week without a primary, but that doesn't mean there has been a lull in the race to the White House. The candidates and their campaigns are keeping things interesting, if not all that presidential.

The idea of Donald Trump as his party’s presidential nominee is clearly getting under the skin of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

He’s probably not tossing and turning through the night, but he is clearly worried about it. And what he is worried about is the impact a Trump candidacy would have on his ability to keep his Republican majority in the U.S. Senate in a year when so many GOP senators are in tough races.

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As the strangest presidential primary race in recent memory continues and we head into Super Tuesday, Political Junkie Ken Rudin and WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson join us to discuss the latest news in the Republican and Democratic contests.

Former Democratic governor Ted Strickland and Republican incumbent Rob Portman are in a virtual tie for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

The same poll shows that Ohio Gov. John Kasich, if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee, would easily defeat either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Ohio, a crucial swing state in this fall’s presidential election.

News from Lake Wobegon: Garrison Keillor’s popular Saturday night show will be cut short by NPR stations for coverage of election results.

WVXU-FM and other National Public Radio affiliates will cut away from “A Prairie Home Companion” at 7 p.m. for live coverage of the South Carolina Republican primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses.

Keillor’s entire show will repeat noon Sunday on WVXU-FM, as usual.

Well, no need for John Kasich to pack his bags, come home and go back to his day job as Ohio’s governor.

He had a very respectable second-place finish in New Hampshire last Tuesday, even though his 16 percent of the vote was less than half of that of the 600-pound gorilla in the room, Donald Trump.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about Monday night's Iowa presidential caucuses. Who might come away as winners? And does it really matter in the quest for the White House? 

  From afar, the Iowa caucuses look like a chaotic state fair midway, with candidates playing bumper cars as they careen around the state in search of voters for Monday’s first-in-the-nation caucus.

Yes, it chaos – controlled chaos, but chaos nonetheless.

But when you are there on the ground, watching it up close, as 19 Xavier University students were last weekend, it is a whirlwind, but one that makes sense.

And, as the Xavier students found, one that the people of Iowa revel in every four years.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the role Ohio and Kentucky are likely to play in the selection of Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.

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