P.G. Sittenfeld

 WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Ohio's U.S. Senate race; and how the outlook seems to have improved for incumbent Republican Rob Portman's re-election chances. 

A potential U.S. Senate race in Ohio between Democratic challenger Ted Strickland and Republican incumbent Rob Portman is nearly a dead heat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday morning.

After months of Strickland, the former governor, holding a substantial lead over Portman, the race now has 44 percent supporting the Democrat and 41 percent supporting Portman.

Ohio will obviously be a key state in next year's presidential election, but it will also have a key role to play in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate. WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked Monday morning with news director Maryanne Zeleznik about that already contentious race. 

There are many odd things about this battle within the ranks of Ohio Democrats over the U.S. Senate seat, with 30-year-old P.G. Sittenfeld, the council member from Cincinnati, taking on the 74-year-old former governor and congressman, Ted Strickland.

First, there is the fact that Sittenfeld, despite having the entire Ohio Democratic Party structure lined up against him, and the national party too, shows absolutely no sign of dropping out of the race against Strickland who has the lead not only in name recognition but in money raised.

But that’s not the strangest thing.

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.

The leadership of the Democratic Party, both here in Ohio and in Washington, really doesn’t know what to make of Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld.

Is this guy just dense?, they must be thinking. Doesn’t he get the picture?

Sarah Ramsey

  Saying he wants to give Ohio Democrats "a competition, not a coronation," Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld said in Columbus this morning he will stay in the U.S. Senate race, despite pressure within his own party to withdraw. 

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson joins us for an update. 

The late Jim Rhodes, who managed to be elected Ohio governor four times and was about the most pragmatic politician we’ve known in over 40 years of covering politics, had a saying about Ohio voters.

Actually, he had many sayings. But this one rang true back in Rhodes’ day and till holds some power today.

Ohio voters, Rhodes would say, care the most about three things – “jobs, jobs, and jobs.”

To many Ohio workers, the debate over “free trade” and “fair trade” is very real.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the forces in the Ohio Democratic Party ganging up on Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld, as the endorsements for former governor Ted Strickland in the U.S. Senate race pile up.

There’s an old saw that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Some people are applying that to the Ohio Democratic Party executive committee’s decision a week ago to endorse former governor Ted Strickland over Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld in the 2016 Democratic primary for Republican incumbent Rob Portman’s U.S. Senate seat.

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