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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

New Polls Show a Strickland vs. Portman Senate Race Could be a Tight One

Ted Strickland in Akron 2016

A pair of polls released today (Wednesday) shows Ohio’s U.S. Senate race is a dead heat – if Ted Strickland wins the Democratic nomination in less than three weeks. 

The Baldwin Wallace poll shows former Gov. Strickland narrowly edging incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman. Quinnipiac’s poll reverses the order, but with within the margin-of error.

Lauren Copeland of Baldwin Wallace says the narrowness of the race could mean the dynamics of the presidential contest will spill over into the Senate fight.

“It’s possible that if Trump or another conservative Republican looks like he’s going to capture the presidency this might be a boost for Ted Strickland since voters in general like to see some checks and balances with one party controlling the presidency and another party controlling the Senate.”

She acknowledges, though, that it could play the other way, with the winner of the Senate seat riding the coattails of his party’s presidential candidate.

To get to the fall contest, Strickland must beat Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld on March 15. Both polls show a large majority of Ohio voters know very little about Sittenfeld. 

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.