Ohio U.S. Senate

Nothing is ever certain in politics – we found that out in a bigly way in last year's presidential election – but it is highly likely that the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Ohio will be rematch of 2012.

We eschew betting in general – especially on baseball – but we would bet a dollar to a donut that, as in 2012, incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown will be facing Republican challenger Josh Mandel, the state treasurer.

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National pollsters have been closely watching Ohio while weighing the odds in this year's presidential race, but on November 8 Ohio voters will also elect one member to represent them in the U.S. Senate.

There was a time, not so long ago, when the nation’s Amalgamated Union of American Political Pundits (OK, there’s no such organization, but you know what we mean) had Ohio’s junior senator, Rob Portman, on its list of potential Republican presidential contenders.

But Portman, the Terrace Park Republican, took himself out of the running early on and committed to running for re-election to a second term in the U.S. Senate, where he has, in a few short years, become a significant voice for the GOP and a close ally of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

There was an air of breathless urgency in the e-mail from the Ted Strickland for Senate campaign that crashed into thousands of Ohio Democrats’ inboxes Thursday afternoon.

“If there was ever a time to show your support for Ted, that time is NOW.,’’ said the e-mail, signed by Strickland campaign manager Rebecca Pearcy.

“Polls have Ted in a dead heat with Rob Portman…Pundits are calling Ted’s campaign one of the most important races in the country to winning back the Senate majority…EVERYONE is watching to see just how much grassroots support we have.

If the election were held today, former Ohio governor Ted Strickland would defeat Republican incumbent Rob Portman in in the U.S. Senate race, according to an independent poll released Monday morning.

The Quinnipiac University poll – which looked at Senate races in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania – had the former Democratic governor with 46 percent support to 40 percent for Portman, the Terrace Park Republican who is running for a second term.

Sarah Ramsey

Saying he wants to give Ohio Democrats "a competition, not a coronation," Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld said in Columbus this morning he will stay in the U.S. Senate race, despite pressure within his own party to withdraw.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the forces in the Ohio Democratic Party ganging up on Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld, as the endorsements for former governor Ted Strickland in the U.S. Senate race pile up.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld has launched his campaign for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat next year.