John Kasich

Early last Tuesday morning – the first day of early in-person voting at Ohio’s boards of elections – we stopped by the Hamilton County Board of Elections downtown fully expecting to see a line of voters eager to cast the first ballots in the 2014 election.

In past years – particularly gubernatorial and presidential elections – there have been long lines outside the board’s offices on Broadway, sometimes stretching around the block. Sometimes, people would camp out overnight on the sidewalk to be first in line.

Not this time.

Every sign points to a blow-out in the Ohio governor’s race, with Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald going down to a massive defeat at the hands of Republican incumbent John Kasich.

You never know what might happen to turn that around, but the polls show it coming – a Quinnipiac University poll of likely Ohio voters last week had FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, down by 22 percentage point with about five weeks left.

Even worse, one in four Democratic voters polled by Quinnipiac said they plan to vote for Kasich.

With less than five weeks to go before election day, the Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, Ed FitzGerald, trails Republican incumbent John Kasich by 22 percentage points, according to an independent poll released Wednesday.

Perhaps the worst news in Quinnipiac University’s poll of likely Ohio voters is that one out of four Democrats surveyed said they would vote for the Republican Kasich.

Ohio's Governor's race is about a month away.  WVXU Political reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about the race.

For the first time since 1978, Ohioans will vote for governor without having a chance to hear the two major party candidates go head-to-head in a debate.

That’s nine gubernatorial election cycles ago, folks.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the possibility that Ohio's Rob Portman may make a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

The buzz from Washington about Ohio’s junior senator, Rob Portman, running for the Republican presidential nomination has flared up again.

And the Terrace Park Republican has done nothing to put out the fire.

He is reportedly considering setting up a presidential exploratory committee sometime after the November election, using as seed money his Senate campaign fund, which will probably be about $6 million by the end of the year.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

After weeks of bad headlines, low poll numbers and disappointing fundraising, there’s a major shakeup rattling the campaign of the Democratic candidate for governor.

Ohio's jobless rate goes up

Aug 15, 2014

For the first time in nine months, Ohio’s unemployment rate went up last month.   The news has the political spin machines working on high speed.

Ohio’s jobless rate was 5.7 in July, up from 5.5 in June. Ben Johnson with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says that’s not reason to think that means the state’s economy is failing:

“We don’t think that the overall trend has changed. We believe that the economy is slowly improving and will continue to slowly improve.

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the Ohio governor's race and the recent problems of Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald; and how he is trying to get his campaign back on track.

Is the ship sinking for Ohio Democrats in the governor’s race?

Democratic Party leaders insist that it is not, but there is no question that the ship has been taking on water at an alarming rate in the past few weeks.

And the fear among some Democrats is that if their candidate for governor, Ed FitzGerald, sinks under the waves, he might take the Democrats’ down-ticket statewide candidates – for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor – down to the bottom of the deep blue sea with him.

WVXU

Ohio Governor John Kasich has declared a state of emergency for Lucas, Wood and Fulton Counties after city of Toledo officials found evidence of an algae contaminant in the public water system and advised residents not to drink the water.

Here's information from the Governor's office:

State and local officials are working together to arrange for drinking water to be shipped into the affected areas. These are the recommendations that have been issued:

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald trails incumbent Republican John Kasich by 12 percentage points and is still not well known to about two-third of Ohio voters, according to an independent poll released this morning.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which polls voters in key states, has Kasich with 48 percent to FitzGerald’s 36 percent.

In May, Kasich led FitzGerald by 15 percentage points in the last Quinnipiac Poll.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about where the Ohio governor's race stands, less than four months from election day.

Addendum: There were other cities that have hosted both the Democratic and Republican National Convention in the same year - most recently, Miami Beach in 1972 and Chicago in 1952.

Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, has been campaigning for a year and a half in his quest to oust Republican governor John Kasich, but this past week marked a first for the FitzGerald campaign.

For the first time, Ohio voters began seeing Fitzgerald, the Cuyahoga County Executive, in a 30-second campaign TV ad.

With the 2016 GOP national convention coming to Cleveland, could they end up nominating an Ohioan for president or vice president? Both Sen. Rob Portman and Gov. John Kasich are being talked about as possible contenders. WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked about it this morning with Jay Hanselman.

Ok, so Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Hooray for you, Republicans in Cincinnati say wearily, after trying and failing to win the big prize for the Queen City.

Now, the question is, who will come out of that convention at the Quicken Loans Arena as the GOP nominees for president and vice president?

There is a possibility – slim, at this point, but a possibility – that the first presidential nominating convention to be held in Ohio in 80 years will nominate an Ohioan, either for president or vice president.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

General Electric, a week after it announced it would build its Global Operation Center at The Banks, held a celebration today in their temporary headquarters with Gov. John Kasich and a host of elected officials and community leaders who had a hand in bringing the center to Cincinnati.

Cincinnati City Council and the Hamilton County commissioners approved packages of tax incentives to nail down the deal. Kasich’s private, non-profit development firm, JobsOhio worked for months with GE officials to convince them to bring the operations center here.

Should supporters of Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, be dancing in the streets over an independent poll released last week, that had Kasich with a 15 percentage point lead over Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald.

Or should they, as Ohio Democrats believe, hold off on their “happy dance,” with over five months left before election day?

It depends on how seriously you take polls in election campaigns. It depends on how much you believe in the power of money in politics.

WVXU's politics reporter, Howard Wilkinson, talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the chances of an Ohio or Kentucky candidate being nominated for president if the GOP convention comes to Cincinnati in 2016. And, of course, a little baseball talk on the Reds' Opening Day.

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