Ohio Senate: The Battle for the Buckeye State

Sherrod Brown is the last Democrat standing in Ohio, once a bellwether state that now has a clear conservative bent. 

The senator has been involved in Democratic politics in Ohio since 1974, when the 21-year-old was first elected to the state House. Fifty years later, Brown has an established brand as a progressive populist, but the state has shifted away from his party, and the 2024 race is shaping up to be his toughest Senate campaign yet.

President Donald Trump won the state by 8 points in 2016 and 2020, and Brown’s last victory in 2018 took place in a wave year for Democrats against an underfunded Republican opponent. 

Among the three Democrats up for re-election who represent red states, Brown might be in the strongest position — Ohio’s Republican lean isn’t as pronounced as West Virginia’s or Montana’s. And several Republicans who spoke with Inside Elections warned of the danger in underestimating Brown’s strength.

“He talks to working people in the state like most Democrats don’t,” one Ohio Republican strategist said.

The Republican Field
Though the contours of the GOP primary are still being drawn, most are expecting a three-way race between 2022 candidates Matt Dolan and Bernie Moreno, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

At this early stage, Republicans in Ohio and D.C. view all three potential candidates as formidable challengers to Brown. But the 2024 primary is guaranteed to be a contentious battle that could leave the eventual nominee in a weakened…

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