politically speaking

If you thought for a moment that the choice between Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray for Ohio governor was a choice between Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum, get over it.

If you were in charge of the Ohio Republican Party, would you want President Trump to come back to the Buckeye State again and again before the November election, as he did last Friday night at the Ohio Republican Party's annual dinner in Columbus?

Some people find this hard to believe, but the race in Ohio's 1st Congressional District between Democratic challenger Aftab Pureval and Republican incumbent Steve Chabot really is one of the most competitive House races in the country.

You may well look at your ballot in November and see the names of more women candidates than you can ever remember – especially for local offices.

About time, many of you will say.

And, to put it in its simplest terms, you have one person to thank for that.

Let's play a little bit of the game show Jeopardy! today.

Here's what you have to do sometimes when you are covering politics.

You have to drag yourself to some boring old parlor at a downtown hotel early on a Tuesday morning so you can witness a politician – in this case, GOP Senate candidate Jim Renacci – sign his name to two big pieces of cardboard.

Does the Ohio Republican Party have reason to be worried about November's statewide election?

Yes. Yes, they do. They can read the tea leaves and they are no fools.

Democrat Jill Schiller is out campaigning hard in Ohio's Second Congressional District, harder than anyone else has since incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup first won the seat in 2012.

Raise your hand if you ever, for a second, believed that FC Cincinnati really wanted to put a soccer stadium in the cramped quarters of Oakley.

OK, now raise your hand if you believed in the fairytale of sticking a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the middle of Newport. FC Kentucky, anyone?

John Minchillo / Associated Press

This is how it usually works in a gubernatorial or U.S. Senate election in Ohio: The candidate for governor or U.S. Senator who racks up a huge margin of victory usually helps lift up the down-ticket statewide candidates of his party.

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