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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.

Poll: Portman, Strickland In Dead Heat; Kasich Would Win Ohio's Electoral Votes

Former Democratic governor Ted Strickland and Republican incumbent Rob Portman are in a virtual tie for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, according to a Quinnipiac University pollreleased Wednesday.

The same poll shows that Ohio Gov. John Kasich, if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee, would easily defeat either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Ohio, a crucial swing state in this fall’s presidential election.

On the Senate side, the Quinnipiac Poll had Strickland with 44 percent support and Portman with 42 percent. The margin of error in the poll of 1,539 Ohio registered voters is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

“The Ohio U.S. Senate race is a statistical tie,’’ said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “If the contest remains this close, the outcome of the presidential race in Ohio could make the difference in the Senate contest.”

Ohio’s U.S. Senate race is expected to be one of the key battlegrounds in the GOP’s bid to retain control of the Senate and the Democratic Party’s efforts to win a Senate majority.

Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld is running against Strickland for the Democratic Senate nomination and is considered a long-shot candidate.

If he were to become the Democratic nominee, the Quinnipiac Poll has him trailing Portman by 19 percentage points – 48 percent to 29 percent.

Kasich got some troubling news from a Quinnipiac Poll released Tuesday. It showed him trailing GOP front-runner Donald Trump in Ohio by five percentage points, with the winner-take-all Ohio presidential primary only three weeks away.

But the Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday showed that Kasich would be hard to beat in the fall for Ohio’s 18 Electoral College votes.

The poll had Kasich topping Clinton by 17 percentage points, with 54 percent support to 37 percent for the Democratic front-runner. The Ohio governor leads Sanders in Ohio by 19 percentage points, 54 percent to 35 percent.

Trump led Clinton by two percentage points and was tied with Sanders. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz led Clinton by three percentage points, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is ahead of Clinton by five percentage points.

Sanders is two percentage points up on Cruz and two percentage points behind Rubio.

“The four leading Republican candidates either tie or lead former secretary Clinton in Ohio, considered the best microcosm of that national electorate and a must-win for the GOP,’’ Brown said. “Republicans have never won the White House without winning Ohio.” 

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.