Why Ohio Remains at the Senate Map Edges

Two polls this week found Brown leading Renacci by double digits.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 13, 2017, during the committee's hearing where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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Kyle Trygstad
June 14, 2018, 8:14 a.m.

Two polls released in the past two days illustrate why the Ohio Senate race isn’t currently included on President Trump’s summer travel plan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell initially left it off his list of the states the majority will run through.

Polling conducted by Suffolk and Quinnipiac universities found Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown leading Republican Rep. Jim Renacci by 16 and 17 points, respectively. That’s not nearly as competitive as McConnell indicated the race was, citing internal polling, in a subsequent interview with The Hill.

Of course, with the second fundraising quarter closing in a couple of weeks, you won’t see the Brown campaign touting these numbers. The second-term senator and possible presidential contender would prefer the conventional wisdom be that he is nearly as vulnerable as some of his red-state colleagues.

That’s not an unreasonable position given the big-ticket statewide elections there in 2016—Trump’s 8-point winning margin and Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s dominant reelection. But while the race will inevitably tighten, Ohio should remain positioned at the bottom of any top-10 ranking of the seats most likely to flip.

Kyle Trygstad


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