Rob Portman

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.

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 about  what is at stake in the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Ohio.

There must be a lot of Democratic Party leaders around Ohio scratching their heads lately.

Why, they must be asking themselves, is P.G. Sittenfeld, the 30-year-old Cincinnati councilman who announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate some time ago, still in the race?

It’s been almost two weeks now since the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee threw its support behind former governor Ted Strickland for the 2016 U.S. Senate nomination.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the fall-out from Sen. Rob Portman joining 46 other GOP senators in signing a letter to the government of Iran.

It’s hard to say for certain at this point, but Ohio’s junior U.S. Senator, Rob Portman, may have given the Democrats who want to take his job away from him in next year’s election a campaign issue.

Portman was one of 47 Republican senators who signed a letter last week to the leadership of Iran warning them that if they reach an agreement with the Obama administration on nuclear weapons, the next president and Congress could undo it.

Seven GOP senators did not sign the letter.

Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland’s bid for the U.S. Senate got a huge boost Tuesday morning when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) endorsed his candidacy.

The DSCC is capable of raising millions of dollars for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates.

Its endorsement of Strickland is a blow to the campaign of Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld, who is the only other announced Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Rob Portman.

U.S. Senate

Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Tea Party favorite, is coming to Cincinnati in May to speak at the county party’s biggest fundraising dinner of the year, but he is also helping Ohio Sen. Rob Portman raise money for his re-election campaign.

Lee has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the Hamilton County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner on May 16 at the invitation of Portman, according to county party chairman Alex Triantafilou.

“Senator Lee and Rob are good friends; and he wants to help Rob any way he can in getting re-elected,’’ Triantafilou said.

Ohio voters have 20 months before they go to the polls to vote for a U.S. Senator. But the race for incumbent Republican Rob Portman's seat is  already heating up. WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the state of the race.