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SPOTLIGHT: Your 2021 voter guide to Cincinnati's races for mayor, City Council, school board and more ahead of Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 2. >>
0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard 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 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 16 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.

New Poll Says Portman-Strickland Race Too Close To Call

A potential U.S. Senate race in Ohio between Democratic challenger Ted Strickland and Republican incumbent Rob Portman is nearly a dead heat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday morning.

After months of Strickland, the former governor, holding a substantial lead over Portman, the race now has 44 percent supporting the Democrat and 41 percent supporting Portman.

The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus three percentage points. The poll contained data from three key swing states – Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Previous Quinnipiac polls this year had Strickland with more substantial leads – six percentage points in June, nine percentage points in April.

In recent weeks, Strickland, the front-runner for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, has been hammered by TV ads paid for by Americans For Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ organization; and the Portman campaign has also started a TV ad campaign attacking Strickland.

“The too-close-to-call status of the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Rob Portman and former governor Ted Strickland is progress for the incumbent Republican who had trailed the Democratic challenger in previous Quinnipiac University polls,’’ Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the polling institute, said in a press release.

Strickland’s challenger for the Democratic nomination – Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld – continues to struggle. The Quinnipiac poll had Sittenfeld trailing Portman by 21 percentage points; and said that 88 percent of those polled do not known enough about the second-term council member to form an opinion about him.

The Ohio portion of the poll also showed that Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination, remains highly popular with Ohio voters, with 61 percent saying they approve of the job he is doing while 28 percent said they disapprove. Ohio Democrats were divided on Kasich, with 46 percent saying they approve of his job performance and 44 percent saying they disapprove.