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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

There's a Trumpian Imprint in Ohio's U.S. Senate Race

a photo of voting booths
Nearly two-thrids of Ohio voters says President Trump's performance will impact their vote in Ohio's U.S. Senate race.

President Trump is likely to have a big impact on Ohio’s U.S. Senate race this fall  – for better and worse. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on some of the indicators in the latest Quinnipiac poll.

Five months before the election, the poll shows incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown well ahead of his Republican challenger, Congressman Jim Renacci (51-34 percent).

photo of Renacci ad
A nasty ad war is already underway in the Ohio Senate campaign

And it shows the top issues in the Senate race are:

  • Healthcare (28),
  • The economy (25)
  • Immigration (15)
  • Guns (14)

But nearly 60 percent of respondents said President Trump will be a factor in their Senate vote: 28 percent to show they support the president and 30 percent to show their opposition.
And very few people haven’t made up their mind when it comes to the president. On a question rating Trump’s performance, 43 percent said they approve, 54 percent said no.

The evaluations of Trump break largely along the lines of age, race and sex. White men are the only demographic that approves of his performance. Young voters age 18-34 most strongly condemn how Trump is handling the job.

When the same question was asked of how Sen. Brown is handling his job, 55 percent approved, 29 percent disapproved. Fewer than 1-5 voters say they just don't know enough about him to make up their minds. Renacci has a lot bigger group of question marks: fully half say they haven't heard enough about him.

Graph of Brown approval ratings
Credit M.L. Schultze / WKSU public radio
WKSU public radio
Quinnipiac measures of Sherrod Brown's approval ratings during his last term

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.