Howard Wilkinson

  Most people assume that next year is the year when the presidential campaign and the U.S. Senate race suck all of the air out of the room in Ohio.

You won’t hear about anything else, especially in Hamilton County, which will end up being one of the most sought-after prizes in the Buckeye State by the presidential campaigns, and by both U.S. Senate candidates.

But they won’t suck quite all of the air out of the room in Hamilton County.

Last Friday, Ohio lawmakers sent Governor John Kasich their proposed two-year, $71.2 billion state operating budget.

Holly Yurchison / WVXU

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, after months of organizing and stumping in early primary and caucus states – will make it official on July 21 at Ohio State University: He is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the impact the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriages could have on elections at the state and national levels. 

There was an air of breathless urgency in the e-mail from the Ted Strickland for Senate campaign that crashed into thousands of Ohio Democrats’ inboxes Thursday afternoon.

“If there was ever a time to show your support for Ted, that time is NOW.,’’ said the e-mail, signed by Strickland campaign manager Rebecca Pearcy.

“Polls have Ted in a dead heat with Rob Portman…Pundits are calling Ted’s campaign one of the most important races in the country to winning back the Senate majority…EVERYONE is watching to see just how much grassroots support we have.

If the election were held today, former Ohio governor Ted Strickland would defeat Republican incumbent Rob Portman in in the U.S. Senate race, according to an independent poll released Monday morning.

The Quinnipiac University poll – which looked at Senate races in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania – had the former Democratic governor with 46 percent support to 40 percent for Portman, the Terrace Park Republican who is running for a second term.

  Yes, the Quinnipiac University Poll that came out this week – known in political circles as the Q-Poll – showed Ohio Gov. John Kasich leading Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton by seven percentage points in Ohio, a key battleground state.

Well, that’s interesting, but it was not the worst news for Clinton in the Q-Poll of three key swing states – Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich would defeat Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton in Ohio if the election were held today, according to a new independent poll.

And Clinton runs dead even with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in the Buckeye State, according to the poll released Wednesday morning by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik morning about the historic and unique role Ohio has played in choosing the nation's presidents. 

  Ha! We knew it all along!

Now we have the numbers to prove it! Real, live numbers – and, in politics, you’re best off not arguing with numbers.

At last we can prove what we knew intuitively all along – that there is no better state to look at than Ohio as the predictor of who the next president will be.  And it is the state where the vote in presidential elections most closely mirrors the nation’s vote as a whole.

Ohio is, in fact, the ultimate bellwether state.

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