Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Let the Senatorial Games Begin, Part II: Can a Blue Brown Win Again in Red Ohio

As noted above, Ohio is another red state where a Democrat is facing a tough fight—but who will he face? The Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), has won three Senate races before, but this will be the first time he will be on the ticket with a presidential candidate who is most likely going to lose the state. Will that drag him down? We don't know.

We also don't know who the Republican candidate for the Senate will be. We do know that two Republicans are already in and two more are likely to follow. State Sen. Matt Dolan and auto dealer Bernie Moreno are in. Both are wealthy and can self-fund their races. In addition, the Club for Growth wants U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) to jump in and will provide lavish funding if he does. So for these three, money won't be a problem. Secretary of State Frank LaRose is acting like a candidate and will probably jump in soon. He won't have as much money as the others, but he has a different advantage: He is much better known than the other three and has won statewide office, which none of the others have. It could be a nasty primary.

Strategists on both sides believe that Dolan would be the strongest candidate in the general election, but he may not be the strongest candidate in the primary. He ran for the Senate in 2022 as a moderate and was the only candidate who didn't aggressively court Donald Trump. He lost to now-Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH). Trump will undoubtedly endorse one of the others, not Dolan. Dolan's family owns the Cleveland Guardians baseball team. In the past, Trump was a big fan of the New York Yankees. For Trump, that alone could eliminate Dolan.

It is most likely that Trump will endorse Moreno, despite Moreno having called Trump a "maniac" and a "lunatic" in 2016. After all, Vance called Trump even worse things and still got his endorsement in 2022. Moreno's daughter is married to the very Trumpy Rep. Max Miller (R-OH). Moreno, an immigrant from Colombia, hasn't quite gotten U.S. politics down pat. He has suggested there should be reparations to the descendants of white soldiers who fought for the North and died in the Civil War. This didn't go over so big. Moreno is clearly a weak candidate, but if Trump endorses him, that might just be enough.

If all four of the above enter the race, it will be quite a battle. Meanwhile, Brown will be able to spend the primary season running a positive campaign and raising lots of money nationwide. (V)

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