Rob Portman

Senate Candidates Criticize Presidential Candidates

Oct 21, 2016

The two major party candidates for U.S. Senate in Ohio held their third and final debate in Cleveland last night at the Ideacenter. Freshman Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, faced former Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the impact Donald Trump's lewd and vulgar remarks about women in 2005 is already damaging his campaign in Ohio. 

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Ohio's junior U.S. senator, Rob Portman announced late Saturday he is rescinding his previous endorsement of Republican president nominee Donald Trump.

Portman was one of dozens of GOP leaders from around the country who have announced they can no longer support Trump, after the disclosure Friday of a 2005 video in which Trump makes lewd, vulgar comments about a married woman he said he wanted to have sex with.

There are those who are ready to stick a fork in the U.S. Senate campaign of former Ohio governor Ted Strickland and declare him done.

Strickland, of course, is not among them.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Ohio Gov. John Kasich's absolute refusal to endorse Donald Trump; and how Kasich may be looking to be there to pick up the pieces and put the party back together again  if the GOP is shattered in a Trump loss. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the U.S. Senate race in Ohio; and how Ohio Gov. John Kasich is campaigning with Portman, who is locked in a tough re-election race with former governor Ted Strickland. There's one thing that Kasich and Portman don't mention publicly though - presidential candidate Donald Trump. Kasich absolutely refuses to endorse the GOP nominee, while Portman has endorsed him - although he has kept his distance from him so far. 

  "Odd" is a word that describes many things about the 2016 election cycle, beginning with the presidential race and working its way down to the bottom of the political food chain.

It's certainly a good word to describe recent events in Ohio's U.S. Senate race, where incumbent Republican Rob Portman is trying to win re-election over former Democratic governor Ted Strickland.

 Incumbent Republican Rob Portman's has a substantial lead over Democratic challenger Ted Strickland in Ohio's U.S. Senate race, a Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday morning said.

According to the poll, Portman leads Strickland, the former governor, by nine percentage points – 49 percent to 40 percent.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

CLEVELAND – Ohio's junior senator, Rob Portman, has been the object of barbs from his re-election opponent, former Gov. Ted Strickland, and Ohio Democrats for wanting to have it both ways when it comes to Donald Trump.

The battle between incumbent Republican Rob Portman and Democratic challenger Ted Strickland for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat is a flat-footed tie, according to a poll released Wednesday morning.

The Quinnipiac University poll had both candidates with 42 percent support. The pollsters say the race has been too close to call for months. The full poll is available here.

Donald Trump and (presumably) Hillary Clinton will be the featured bout in this November's election in the key swing state of Ohio, the bellwether of presidential elections for as long as anyone can remember.

But the undercard fight in Ohio is a pretty good one too.

It's entirely possible – even likely – that many people, including the subset of humanity known as "political pundits," can take polling done six months before a presidential election way too seriously.

Not to denigrate the pollsters. The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, the academic polling operation that released two "key state" polls on the presidential election and Senate elections in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania last week is well-respected and professional.

Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president. Anyone with an elementary grasp of mathematics has known that for some time now.

The once-gargantuan field of GOP presidential candidates dwindled in recent weeks to three – Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich. And, after Trump's thumping of Cruz Tuesday in Indiana, it was finally down to one, with first Cruz and then Kasich falling on their swords and crying "uncle."

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.