Sherrod Brown Reflects on Role in Senate

Senator Brown (D-OH) has two more years in the Senate before the midterm elections. [Mark Urycki / ideastream]
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Sherrod Brown is one of ten senate Democrats up for re-election in 2018 from states that voted for Trump this year. That means the Ohio Senator will play an interesting role in legislative decisions that will impact the new President-elect's administration.

Senator Brown says he’s going to do exactly what he’s always done.

"I will fight for what's right for Ohio," he said.

David B. Cohen is a political science professor at the University of Akron. He says that throughout the Senator’s career, that has meant staying on the left.

"One might expect Sherrod Brown to moderate his positions a little bit and move to the center," said Cohen. "I think those predictions are way off."

Even still, Sherrod Brown does agree with the incoming president on some issues—mainly, trade. Two days after the election, he called Trump’s transition team to offer his help renegotiating NAFTA.

But he says he plans to resist Trump in other areas. He has called for lawmakers to reduce prescription drug prices—instead of repealing Obamacare.

"I make it very clear that on issues of civil rights and issues of gay rights and issues of climate change and issues of standing strong on Medicare and wall street reform and health insurance that I oppose him," Senator Brown said.

Flexibility may help in the midterm elections. 

"Things are changing fairly rapidly and nothing has congealed in terms of the electorate. So we can think of for example white blue collar workers who might have voted for the incoming administration in 2016 not sticking with that administration," said Karen Beckwith, a political scientist at Case Western Reserve University. She said that Brown has done well that demographic in the past.

Although he'll almost certainly be a political target in 2018, he still has two years to plot strategy.

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