RATINGS CHANGE: Sabato moves OH Sen to a "Toss-up"

Previously, the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report and the Cook Political Report moved their ratings of Ohio’s U.S. Senate race to a “toss-up” as well.


Crystal Ball 2016 Senate ratings
Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley
April 7, 2016

While Sen. Rob Portman (R) is a skilled, well-funded incumbent who is widely respected on Capitol Hill and by his party’s leadership, he does not have the built-in statewide name ID and persona that his two predecessors in this seat possessed, former Sens. George Voinovich (R, 1999-2011) and John Glenn (D, 1974-1999). So we would not expect Portman to run considerably ahead of the GOP presidential nominee in a state that should reflect the national presidential voting.

That gives former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) an opening, and he has to be delighted with the presidential outlook so far: Strickland’s friend and ally Hillary Clinton is well on her way to securing the Democratic nomination, while the Republicans, as noted previously, appear likely to nominate someone out of the mainstream. Last year we took an in-depth look at Strickland’s potential path to victory, which could include doing a little bit better in Strickland’s native Appalachia than President Obama did in his two Ohio victories. The GOP presidential nominee will likely do quite well in Appalachian Ohio — that may be especially true for Donald Trump, who has dominated the primary vote in that region — but it’s not impossible to imagine a small crossover vote for Strickland, who used to represent many of these counties in the U.S. House. Portman should still be able to use the power of incumbency and his immense funding edge — Portman has $13.5 million in the bank, while incomplete numbers show Strickland at only a little over $2 million — to run a few points ahead of the presidential ticket, but that might not be enough.

This race moves from Leans Republican to Toss-up.


For Immediate Release: April 7, 2016

Contact: David Bergstein or Liz Margolis, press@TedStrickland.com

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