Big money flowing in Ohio's Senate races
Ohio's Senate primary remains on a bruising, expensive collision course toward Election Day in May.
State of play: Both parties have contested primaries, but the GOP race has gotten the most attention due to its crowded field and mega ad spending.
- Over $32 million has already been spent by Republican candidates and outside groups on TV and radio advertising, per the Columbus-based ad tracker Medium Buying.
- That GOP-only total nearly matches spending from both parties during the entire 2018 Senate election — in about eight fewer months.
The latest: Two recent polls put entrepreneur Mike Gibbons and former state treasurer Josh Mandel out in front with a few weeks until early voting begins.
- Trailing are author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken and state Sen. Matt Dolan.
- Timken was recently endorsed by Rob Portman, the retiring senator each candidate is seeking to replace.
The intrigue: Trump has yet to make an endorsement, which would instantly shake up the race and tilt the scales toward the selected candidate.
- All but Dolan, the race's leading moderate, are vying to be the Trump pick.
Meanwhile, the Democratic primary features Congressman Tim Ryan, attorney and activist Morgan Harper and tech executive Traci Johnson.
What's next: The Ohio Debate Commission will host a pair of televised debates on March 28 at Central State University.
- The Democrats will debate from 11:30am-12:30pm, with the Republicans slotted for 7-8:30pm.
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