Howard Wilkinson: Politics and More

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his political blog, his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with news director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 14 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time. 

Obviously, the battle for the White House is at the very top of this year's election fight card. But coming in a not-too-distant second is a battle that has been brewing since the 2014 election, when Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate after eight years of the Democrats being in power. At the beginning of the year, Democrats could smell victory in the air – all they had to do was to flip four Republicans seats and they could retake control of the Senate. That's still a possibility in...

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Though most political pundits say Donald Trump's chances to win 270 electoral votes, and the White House, are unlikely, latest polling shows the race is now a virtual tie between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

One of the most contentious races in the region is taking place in Covington, where voters in Northern Kentucky's largest city are choosing a mayor. On one side is the incumbent, Sherry Carran, a former city commissioner who was first elected mayor in 2012; and on the other, Joe Meyer, a former state representative and state senator who headed the state's Education and Workforce Development Cabinet under former governor Steve Beshear. In Covington, the city's governing body is a five-member...

Political types on both sides agree – the race for Hamilton County commissioner between Republican Dennis Joseph Deters and Democrat Denise Driehaus is the most fiercely contested and most costly race this year for any county office. And, if the polling that is said to be out there is correct, it may also be the closest contest, the one that keeps everyone up late on election night waiting for an outcome – quite possibly into the wee hours of the morning after. It pits two very familiar...

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about how both presidential campaigns - particularly the Hillary Clinton campaign - are focusing their efforts on convincing supporters to vote early. And there was a discussion of how voting percentages drop off dramatically in down-ticket races in presidential years. Clarification: In Monday's chat, reference was made to bringing an ID to vote early at your county board of elections. When you go...

Two of the three seats on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners are up for election this year; and at stake is the balance of power between the majority Republicans and the lone Democrat on the commission. The race between Democratic state representative Denise Driehaus, who is term-limited out of the legislature, and Republican Dennis Joseph Deters, a former Colerain Township trustee who was appointed commissioner when Greg Hartmann resigned in December, is the one that has drawn most...

Here's something that Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke and his counterpart in the Hamilton County Republican Party, Alex Triantafilou, have in common, nine days before the election. Neither one of them has even a vague notion of which presidential candidate – Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump – is going to win Hamilton County, a swing county in a swing state.

Down-ticket races such as county recorder often get lost in the shuffle – especially in a presidential election year. But the contest for Hamilton County recorder between two-term Democratic incumbent Wayne Coates and Republican Norbert A. Nadel, who was forced to end a nearly 40 year career as a judge in 2014 because of Ohio's age limit law, is drawing more attention than most. It pits a Democrat who vaulted into office eight years ago, defeating an incumbent Republican, in the middle of the...

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Donald Trump's claims that the election is "rigged' and how Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is answering Trump. Also, Wilkinson, a serious baseball fan, says he's rooting for the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

It's become clear that most Republican Party leaders at all levels, local and national, are really, really tired of hearing Donald Trump going on about this election being rigged. This election which, in fact, hasn't happened yet.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Madisonville got its start in 1809 as Madison, named after the fourth president of the United States, James Madison.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

Each Friday on Cincinnati Edition, we present an in-depth look at the developments behind the headlines.

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.

Poor old Ohio. Once the bellwether of the nation; once the ultimate swing state in presidential elections. Now, if you pay attention to some recent national news reports, Ohio is watching its bellwether status slip away. It is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of American Politics, shifting its necktie and whining that it gets no respect.

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