Dems Find Their Man For Ohio

Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) has made public what's been known privately for months: his desire to run for U.S. Senate.  Fisher filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee for the race to replace retiring Sen. George Voinovich (R) late Monday. Fisher's demonstrated interest will likely clear the Democratic field of primary challengers given virtually assured support from Gov. Ted Strickland. Barring scandals before the primaries, the Senate race is now set between Fisher and ex-Rep. Rob Portman (R).

Fisher is two for two in statewide races: he won election as attorney general in 1990 but lost reelection in 1994, as well as losing the 1998 gubernatorial election before winning as with Strickland in 2006. This checkered record explains Fisher's low familiarity with the public: 55 percent of voters in a recent Quinnipiac poll said they don't know enough about him to judge his favorability.

Still, Fisher is better known among the public than Portman, who worked in the Bush White House as budget director and trade ambassador since 2005 and was a Cincinnati-area congressman before that. Fisher leads Portman 42 to 27 percent in the Quinnipiac survey.
In most political races, Democrats will strain to connect Republican candidates (especially newcomers) to George W. Bush's failures. In Ohio all they need to do is reference Portman's resume. On the other hand, Republicans will start asking "where's the beef" of Fisher and his party if the economy continues to sputter after Fisher has promised to "turnaround Ohio" as director of economic development and Democrats have controlled Congress and the White House.  

However, Fisher is a polished speaker with a knack for explaining how the global and national economies affect Ohio - and what the Strickland administration has done to meet their challenges.

Since Portman's announcement last month, U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine (R) has leaned heavily toward running for attorney general, according to two Republican sources.

Presented by

Justin Miller was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 to 2011. He is now the homepage editor at New York magazine. More

Justin Miller was a associate editor at The Atlantic. Previously he was an assistant editor at RealClearPolitics, a political reporter in Ohio, and a freelance journalist.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In