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Politics Chat: Suddenly, Ohio Is At The Center Of Presidential Race

joe biden
Andrew Harnik
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by his wife Jill Biden, right, speaks at Amtrak's Cleveland Lakefront train station, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Cleveland.

After Donald Trump won Ohio by a convincing eight percentage point margin in 2016, there was an assumption by many Republicans and Democrats that Ohio would not be a factor in the 2020 presidential contest.

But that was then; this is now.

WVXU Senior Politics Analyst Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik about how Ohio has suddenly become a very competitive state, with polls showing Joe Biden with a small lead or in a dead heat with Trump. Biden may not need Ohio to be elected president, but Trump most likely does. He can't afford to lose states he picked up four years ago. And there is the great truism of presidential politics - no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.