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. 

The past seven days may well have been the most bizarre week of presidential politics in our lifetimes.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the arrangement announced Sunday night by the campaigns of Ted Cruz and John Kasich aimed at stopping Donald Trump from winning a first-ballot victory at the Republican National Convention. Kasich will give Cruz a clear path in Indiana's May 3 primary, while Cruz will get out of Kasich's way in the primaries of Oregon and New Mexico. 

City of Dayton, City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati has double the population of Dayton, Ohio, yet the cities share similar characteristics and face many of the same challenges and opportunities. WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson joins us as we talk with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley about working together for the benefit of both cities, and their thoughts on the future for what could one day become a combined Cincinnati-Dayton metropolitan area. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about whether or not it is inevitable that the GOP will have a contested convention in Cleveland in July and Donald Trump's claims that the delegate session process is rigged against him. 

  Maybe, if you believe in April's polling as a predictor of what could happen in the Nov. 8 presidential election, the Republicans already have a candidate who could beat the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, in the Electoral College.

Whoop her by a long shot, in fact.

That candidate would be the governor of Ohio, John Kasich.

However, there is a big problem with this theory – not nearly enough Republican voters are casting ballots for him in the primaries and caucuses.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the state of the race for the GOP presidential nomination. A few weeks ago, it seemed inevitable that Donald Trump could not be stopped. Now, the chances that he will go to the convention with less delegates than he needs to win on the first ballot seem more and more likely. 

For local political party leaders, the trouble with presidential election years is that they don't happen in a vacuum.

While there is no more important decision voters will make on Nov. 8 than who will be the 45th President of the United States, a county party chairman has to worry about all the down-ticket races as well – the county commissioners, the county office-holders, the local judgeships.

Provided

We're in the middle of a full week without a primary, but that doesn't mean there has been a lull in the race to the White House. The candidates and their campaigns are keeping things interesting, if not all that presidential.

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.

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