WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the impact President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court could have on Ohio's U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Rob Portman and Democratic challenger Ted Strickland. 

It was not as if Ohio's junior U.S. senator, Rob Portman of Terrace Park, didn't have enough headaches to deal with in his bid for a second six-year term when the conundrum of President Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland came along.

The Democratic Party leadership in Washington already saw Portman as vulnerable; and an important key to the Democrats' ambitions to re-take control of the U.S. Senate in November. It is not, by any means, a pie-in-the-sky ambition.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Vice President Joe Biden will be in Cincinnati Tuesday morning for a high-dollar private fundraiser for former Ohio governor Ted Strickland's U.S. Senate campaign.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about a variety of topics - what it would take for John Kasich to pull off the GOP presidential nomination, the high-stakes contest between Rob Portman and Ted Strickland, and newcomer Warren Davidson's win last week in the 8th Ohio Congressional District. 


  You can’t really say that the people of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District – an overwhelmingly Republican stretch of land – despised their congressman, former House Speaker John Boehner of West Chester.

After all, they elected him to Congress every two years from 1990 through 2014, never with less than 60 percent of the vote. In 2012, the Democrats in the district didn’t even bother to field a candidate. They looked at it and said, what’s the point?

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Former Army Ranger and Miami County businessman Warren Davidson appears headed for victory in a 15-candidate field for the 8th Ohio Congressional District seat once held by John Boehner.all

With all of the district's 579 precincts reporting, Davidson had 33 percent in the early returns.  State Rep. Tim Derickson of Butler County's Hanover Township was in second with 24 percent, while State Sen. Bill Beagle of Tipp City in Miami County, had 20 percent. 

All of the other candidates finished well under 10 percent. 

Davidson could not be reached for comment. 


Former judge Norbert Nadel has defeated Cincinnati council member Charlie Winburn in a hotly-contested primary for Hamilton County recorder.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked Monday morning with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik about Tuesday's Ohio presidential primary and how it will make or break Ohio Gov. John Kasich's bid for the GOP nomination. That's why Donald Trump is working hard to stop Kasich in Ohio. 

In a speech before a wildly enthusiastic crowd, billionaire and GOP presidential contender Donald J. Trump bounced from one subject to another in a stream-of-consciousness speech.

Some of it was familiar ground – criticism of the news media, Hillary Clinton, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (his principal opponent in Tuesday’s Ohio primary) and his insistence that, as president, he will build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico “and make Mexico pay for it.”

  SHARONVILLE - In his nearly eight months of campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been, as he described it to hundreds of friendly suburban Republicans here Saturday morning, “unrelentingly positive.”

He has not engaged in the name-calling and yelling that has marked most of the televised GOP candidate debates. But he has also never called out his chief rival in Tuesday’s critical Ohio primary, billionaire Donald J. Trump, for the angry tone he has set for his campaign or the violence that often erupts at his campaign events.


A release from the Donald J. Trump Campaign now lists a 2:00 rally in West Chester at the Savannah Center on Chappell Crossing Boulevard.  Tickets available here:


A mid-day Sunday rally for presidential contender Donald J. Trump at the Duke Energy Convention Center has been called off.

Eric Deters, who was the Northern Kentucky chairman of the Trump campaign told WVXU that there were "some problems" with the Duke Energy Center that could not be worked out, but he said the campaign is still trying to schedule a rally with Trump in Cincinnati before Tuesday's primary election.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Donald J. Trump, locked in a critical battle for Ohio’s 66 Republican delegates in Tuesday’s primary election, will crisscross the state this weekend, including stops for both in Cincinnati.

Thursday morning, Linda Caudill, the Hamilton County chair of Trump’s campaign, said the campaign signed a contract “late last night” with the Duke Energy Convention Center to hold a Sunday rally.

She said she had no details on the rally but said they are expected to be released by the Trump campaign later today. This story will be updated.

For nearly a quarter of a century, voters in the 8th Congressional District of Ohio sent Republican John Boehner back to the U.S. House by huge margins every two years.

It gave Boehner the kind of clout that allowed him to become Speaker of the House in January, 2010.

All of that ended last fall, when the West Chester Republican was pushed into resignation by a rebellious House GOP caucus, many of whom thought he was too eager to compromise with the Democrat in the White House.


Cokie Roberts is certainly no stranger to public radio listeners, or anyone who follows politics. Currently a contributor to Morning Edition, in addition to her work for NPR, Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News. In her more than forty years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting.

Cokie Roberts will be the featured speaker next month at The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s "A Conversation With" event, and she joins us this afternoon to discuss her career.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Saturday's Kentucky GOP presidential caucus, which gave Donald Trump a modest victory and gave a major headache to voters stuck in traffic and long lines at the polling places.