What About the Ohio U.S. Senate Primaries?

Given that Sen. Rob Portman (R) is retiring, I was surprised that Ballotpedia does not list Ohio as a battleground race for the U.S. Senate in 2022. Apparently, the reason for this is that pollsters think Republicans will probably keep this seat.

I am not, at all, sure of this. There are seven Republican candidates vying for the nomination. Almost all of them are vying for Trump’s endorsement. One of the candidates, Matt Dolan, while clearly conservative, has tried to keep his distance from Trump. Trump has stated that, whomever he endorses, it will not be this guy. I think that the pollsters have missed just how alienated independents, centrists, and moderate Republicans are from Trump. If the Republicans nominate, J.D. Vance, the Trump endorsed candidate, I think the Democrats might well take the Ohio U.S. Senate seat.

That depends of course on what the Democrats do during their primary. There are three candidates. One, Tim Ryan, is a reliably left-of-center Democrat. Morgan Harper, also running for the Democratic nomination, appears to be an even further left-wing Progressive. Traci Johnson, the third candidate for the Democratic nomination, is hard to pin down. Her campaign website is a list of left-of-center cliches that give no real clue about how she might vote in the Senate. I might change my mind about Johnson, if she would stick her neck out and get more specific about what she would favor as a U.S. Senator. If you have any insight into the policy positions held by Johnson, please post a comment below and let us know.

If the Democrats nominate Ryan and the Republicans nominate J.D. Vance, the Democrats could stage an upset victory. If the Democrats go with either the progressive candidate or the mystery candidate, the pollsters are probably right and Republicans will hold onto the seat, no matter whom they nominate.

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