Outlook: Likely Democratic
November 6, 2006 Update:
Sherrod Brown (D)
September 25, 2006 Update:
In what may be the hardest atmosphere for Republicans anywhere in the nation, Republican incumbent Mike DeWine is shown to be trailing by an insignificant margin in his venture to be re-elected to the US Senate for a third term. Ohio has seen scandals implicate both its Republican governor, Bob Taft, and a Republican veteran of Congress, Bob Ney. While DeWine continues his attempt to paint Democratic challenger and Congressman Sherrod Brown as too liberal in too many policy areas, Brown has attempted to link DeWine to President Bush, a job loss of over 200,000 in the manufacturing sector, and the War in Iraq. While the national political climate should heavily favor Brown, two polls place this race in a dead heat. A Quinnipiac University poll released Sep. 17 found Brown leading 45 to 44 percent, with 11 percent of voters still undecided. A recent Ohio Poll showed Democratic challenger Brown leading DeWine 51 to 47 percent, within the 4 percent margin of error. Also notable is that 1 in 5 voters polled in the Ohio Poll claimed that their vote will be based on DeWine’s support or Brown’s criticism of President Bush.
Alexander Covington, Crystal Ball Mid-Atlantic Regional Correspondent
August 2, 2006 Update:
The indications of a Democratic wave in Ohio continue. The Crystal Ball has now seen enough polls and heard enough commentary from our friends in Ohio to change the designation of this race from Leans Republican to total Toss-up. Sherrod Brown has even led Senator Mike DeWine in some surveys. It is not that Brown is defeating DeWine, rather it is that Bush, Taft, Iraq, gas prices and you-name-it are defeating DeWine. This is not a runaway for Brown by any means, and we still believe that DeWine has the ability to reverse his decline and win another term. But it is going to be tough and tight, and at this point the outcome is unpredictable.
June 1, 2006 Update:
Senator Mike DeWine is maintaining a shaky lead over Sherrod Brown, and everything will depend on the size of the Democratic wave in the Buckeye State come November.
March 27, 2006 Update:
With Paul Hackett‘s unhappy withdrawal, Congressman Sherrod Brown will be the Democratic nominee–though the blasts from Hackett to Brown and the “establishment Democrats” cannot be helpful. Republican Mike DeWine is a slight favorite, but we put special emphasis on the word slight, as all of the GOP problems in the Buckeye State and beyond are continuing.
Incumbent Republican Mike DeWine will finish his second term in the Senate in 2006, and, until recently, he was considered a heavy favorite for a third term. But the Ohio GOP is in a mess. Governor Bob Taft has the lowest gubernatorial approval ratings in the country, and DeWine himself has upset conservative Republicans in he state by signing on to the “Gang of 14” compromise on judicial nominations in the U.S. Senate. Furthermore, DeWine’s own son could not win an open U.S. House special election in June 2005, despite being the early, clear favorite.
DeWine once had competition for the Republican nomination; a wealthy businessman, John Hritz, briefly announced that he would challenge DeWine, but he has now withdrawn in order to run for a lower statewide-ballot office. DeWine’s sigh of relief could be heard all the way to Charlottesville.
Democrats are looking for a strong candidate to join the likely gubernatorial nominee, Democratic Congressman Ted Strickland. National Democratic leaders pressured Congressman Timothy J. Ryan of Youngstown, who succeeded Jim Trafficant in the House, to run. A pro-life, pro-gun Democrat, Ryan is young–just 32 years old–mediagenic and dynamic, and would have been a strong candidate, but he decided to take a pass.
The Democratic contender may well turn out to be either Congressman Sherrod Brown, a liberal Democrat, or businessman and Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett, who recently surprised many by coming close to winning the August 2, 2005 special election for the U.S. House seat in Ohio’s 2nd District. Hackett’s entry could make for an interesting race.