Balance of Power: The Politics, Policies and People

2018 is a big election year in Ohio.  There are five statewide offices, all currently held by Republicans that are up for grabs, including governor.  Ohio's lone statewide elected Democrat, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is up for reelection.  There are two open U.S. House seats, including one in Northeast Ohio.  And then, there's statewide legislative races and the possibility Ohio residents will be facing two ballot questions on how the state draws its congressional districts.  

Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

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Lines for voting in Summit County
MARK URYCKI / WKSU

The latest school shooting in Texas has activists are calling on younger people to register to vote and cast ballots in the upcoming midterm elections. But historical stats show those calls may go ignored in Ohio. 

When more 18- to 24-year-olds vote, Democrats are more likely to win. But when more older voters turn out, Republicans do. 

Elections analyst Mike Dawson says stats from the Secretary of State’s office compared to U.S. Census figures show tough races for Democrats in non-presidential years since 2000.

Photo of Sherrod Brown
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Congressman Jim Renacci and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown are preparing for a November showdown. Renacci overwhelmingly won the Republican nomination in the Senate race while Brown ran unopposed to keep his seat. Brown says he looks forward to debating Renacci on the issues.

Sherrod Brown brushed off the news that Renacci is officially his General Election opponent, saying he’s going to stay focused on his agenda in the Senate to create jobs and fight for workers.

Photo of Bill Lager
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Republican candidates on this fall’s ballot are distancing themselves from the founder of what was the state’s largest online charter school. This follows a state audit that could result in criminal charges and reports of an FBI investigation for illegal campaign contributions.

Photo of Brown at Press Club
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Though turnout in this week’s Ohio primary was low, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is predicting higher-than-usual interest in the general election this fall. 

Brown was asked during his Akron Press Club speech whether Democrats are ready for 2018 and have what they’ll need to drive voter turnout. His response was focused on young voters and what will push them to participate. Top of the list, he said, is guns, but it’s not the only issue.

photo of Shaker lawn with campaign signs
IDEASTREAM

Ohio library measures fared well at the voting booth in Tuesday's primary, though a hotly contested library levy in Shaker Heights passed by a narrow margin. The Shaker library's local connections may have tipped the scales.

The campaign pitted the library against a community group that argued Shaker should merge with the Cuyahoga County library system to better achieve cost savings. The levy passed by a margin of just over 300 votes out of more than 9,000 cast. Shaker Heights Library Director Amy Switzer says she's still recovering from the tight victory. 

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