Daily Kos Elections/Daily Kos Staff reports:Morning Digest: Scramble is on after unexpected retirement opens up Ohio Senate seat.
OH-Sen: In a big surprise, Republican Sen. Rob Portman announced Monday that he would not seek a third term next year in Ohio. Portman, who is 65, had not shown any obvious interest in retirement, and he had a large $4.6 million war chest at the end of September of 2020. The senator, though, explained his decision by saying, “I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision.”
Portman’s departure will likely give Democrats a better shot at his Senate seat, but Ohio’s rightward drift over the last few years will still make it difficult for Team Blue to score a win in this traditional swing state. Joe Biden targeted the Buckeye State hard in 2020, but Donald Trump still defeated him 53–45. However, Ohio isn’t a place that Republicans can take victory for granted: Portman’s Democratic colleague, Sen. Sherrod Brown, earned re-election 53–47 in 2018, and last year, Democrats won an officially nonpartisan race for the state Supreme Court.
Republicans, though, have the far larger bench in this state …
See the report for that large bench.
And see this one for more background on Portman: Republican senator’s surprise retirement could give Democrats a pickup opportunity in Ohio from Jeff Singer for Daily Kos Elections.
The OH race will be brutal: Ohio GOP senator announces 2022 retirement, kicking off ‘sh*t show’ cycle for Republicans reports Kerry Eleveld of the Daily Kos Staff.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced Monday that he would not be running for reelection in 2022, setting up a raucous GOP primary for the open Senate seat. For instance, a relatively sane GOP conservative like Lt. Gov. Jon Husted could go to head-to-head with staunch pro-Trumper seditionist Rep. Jim Jordan.
“Well, this will be a total shit show,” one Ohio Republican strategist texted to BuzzFeed reporter Henry Gomez.
In fact, Ohio is just one of a handful of places where a “total shit show” could play out for Senate Republicans as Trumpers go to battle for open seats in states where Democrats have real pickup opportunities. That includes North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where GOP Sens. Richard Burr and Pat Toomey respectively have already announced their retirements. Other states that might see high-profile retirements include Iowa, a seat now held by Sen. Chuck Grassley, and Wisconsin, where current sitting senator Ron Johnson has yet to announce his plans. Republicans have already been devoting considerable energy to trying to talk 89-year-old Grassley into running for an eighth term—that’s how bad their map is.
In fact, this tweet from conservative journalist Josh Kraushaar about sums it up.
Josh Kraushaar @HotlineJosh
Nightmare scenario for Senate Rs;
PA GOP nominee: Scott Perry (https://nytimes.com/2021/01/23/us/politics/scott-perry-trump-justice-department-election.html…)
NC GOP nominee: Lara Trump (https://cnn.com/2020/12/16/politics/lara-trump-north-carolina-senate-mark-walker/index.html…
AZ GOP nominee: Kelli Ward (https://wsj.com/articles/arizona-gop-censures-cindy-mccain-doug-ducey-re-elects-kelli-ward-as-chair–11611453988…)
OH GOP nominee: Jim Jordan (https://cincinnati.com/get-access/?return=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cincinnati.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2Felections%2F2021%2F01%2F25%2Fwhich-republican-might-replace-ohio-u-s-sen-rob-portman%2F6698169002%2F…)