Howard Wilkinson: Politics and More

Credit Michael Keating

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.

  Ha! We knew it all along!

Now we have the numbers to prove it! Real, live numbers – and, in politics, you’re best off not arguing with numbers.

At last we can prove what we knew intuitively all along – that there is no better state to look at than Ohio as the predictor of who the next president will be.  And it is the state where the vote in presidential elections most closely mirrors the nation’s vote as a whole.

Ohio is, in fact, the ultimate bellwether state.

The presidential candidate who isn’t a presidential candidate but will probably soon be a presidential candidate spent part of the past week in New Hampshire, the place where presidential candidacies go to either be born or die on the vine.

We’re talking John Kasich, the 69th governor of Ohio here.

The governor of a key swing state who has been racing around from one early primary or caucus state for months now, dropping big hints about wanting to be president, but always stopping short of announcing his candidacy.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the divisions among Kentucky Republicans; and how gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin can mend fences for the fall campaign. 

Here’s something we never expected to say a year ago, after Louisville businessman Matt Bevin - then the ultimate political party outsider - lost a tea party-fueled challenge to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s GOP Senate primary:

Matt Bevin is now the Kentucky Republican Party’s candidate for governor in the November election.

The re-canvass Thursday of last week's votes in Kentucky's Republican gubernatorial race didn't change a thing.

Louisville businessman Matt Bevin still led Kentucky agriculture commissioner James Comer by 83 votes out of more than 214,000 cast.

As we head into summer, things are starting to heat up, and we'’re not just talking about the weather. The number of Republicans vying for their party’'s presidential nomination is growing each month, while many Democrats are hoping there are other candidates willing to step-up and challenge Hillary Clinton.

No objections to close elections here. 

As a politics reporter, they’re much more fun to cover than blow-outs.

And did we ever have a close one Tuesday night in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, on the Republican side of the Kentucky gubernatorial primary.

WVXU politics reporters Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about tomorrow's GOP gubernatorial primary in Kentucky, which appears to be too close to call.

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?

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Kentucky's Rand Paul and Ohio's John Kasich - specifically, what the polling in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire have to say about them.

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