Kyle Kondik | WOSU Radio

Kyle Kondik

Ohio, which had a reputation as the nation's ultimate bellwether state in presidential elections, threw everyone for a loop in 2016 when voters here chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

Congressman Tim Ryan talks to boxing legend and Youngstown native Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini at Ryan's first presidential campaign rally held in downtown Youngstown. Ryan joked he would hire Mancini as his White House secretary.
Kabir Bhatia / WKSU

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who represents Akron and the Youngstown area, is running for president, but to say he’s a dark horse might be an understatement.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

More Ohioans requested early absentee ballots for this midterm election than in 2014. But Ohio is behind other states that are seeing record early turnout levels.

Associated Press

Early voting is now underway in Ohio, which has seen strong Republican wins in the last two midterm election cycles. But many are wondering about the impact of an increase in registered voters in a midterm year that looks good nationwide for Democrats.

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.

There’s a lot at stake in this year’s midterm elections in Ohio.

Republicans are trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. Democrats hope to break the GOP control over the governor’s office and other statewide positions. Nationally, majorities in Congress hang in the balance.

Helping us put the pieces together is Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

On competitive Congressional races in Ohio

It’s after Labor Day, which means pollsters have turned from measuring overall sentiment of voters toward trying to figure out which voters are most likely to actually cast ballots. 

Three polls of Ohio’s voters over the last couple weeks have shown Hillary Clinton up, Clinton and Donald Trump tied, and Trump besting Clinton.