This is the first in what will be a series of diaries previewing the Senate seats that may be competitive in 2010. This is the last cycle that we will be on "offense" before we need to revert back to defense in 2012. Ohio is among those states that has a potential to be competive. Back in 2004, the Incumbent George Voinovich won reelection with 64% of the vote over then State Senator Eric Fingerhut.
Voinovich has dropped in popularity, with a Februrary 2008 SUSA Poll showing him with a 42% approval rating. Several PPP Polls showed him either slighty ahead, tied, or even behind possible challengers. I will preview the possible candidates...
Tim Ryan: A very young House Member, Ryan was elected in 2002 to the seat held by then Congressman Traficant. He beat Rep. Tom Sawyer in the primary and hasn't had too much of an issue sense. His Progressive Punch score puts him at num ber 99/ 435 members. He is very anti-war, but is pro-life and anti-gun control. The PPP Poll had him tied with Voinovich.
Betty Sutton: A true Progressive, Sutton also beat Tom Sawyer, as well as Capri Cafaro to get the right to beat Lorain Mayor Craig Foltin in 2006. She is very similar to Sherrod Brown in her politics. I feel that she would be the best choice for Progressives to rally around.
The Mayors: Jackson, Coleman, McLin. All three present opportunities in their candidacies, but also risks. I feel that McLin and Coleman would have the best chance of winning. Jackson has the "Cuyahoga County" problem that has brought down many a Democrat in this state.
Zack Space: Winning a 60-40% reelection on Tuesday, Space carries a much more centrist voting record. He does have a strong base in his district that could be used to catapault him to the Senate. It would be tough to hold his House seat.
Capri Cafaro: Really?
Dennis Kucinich: Doubtful he could win statewide, but he doesn't mind seemngly impossible races.
Lee Fisher: Actually had a lead in the PPP poll!! Hasn't won statewide by himself since the year I was born!! (1990) He is my second choice after Sutton. Then again every recent Ohio Senator has lost a statewide race for something at some point so Fisher may be the best choice.
Jennifer Brunner: I really like Brunner, but she needs to beat Jon Husted for reelection. Governor 2014?
Hackett: Not sure what to make of him. His almost bid in 2006 was awkward.
What do you guys think?