Is There Any Hope of Defeating Arnold?
Democrat Phil Angelides is way behind the California governor. Here are four keys to how he could (but probably won't) pull off a last-minute surprise
A Texas-Size Race for Governor
Thanks to an unusually crowded field, Governor Rick Perry will probably win reelection - but he may not have much to celebrate
A Republican in Trouble in Indiana
Incumbent John Hostettler has solid conservative credentials, and he voted against the Iraq war. A recipe for reelection? Think again
A Fight Over Affirmative Action in Michigan
The man behind the California racial preference ban is back at it again, this time in Michigan, where his ballot initiative could prevail over a strong, organized opposition
Courting Missouri's Moms
In one of three upper South statesthat Democrats need to win to take control of the Senate, the gender gap could make the difference
Tom DeLay's Gift to the Democrats
The controversial former House leader thought he could help the G.O.P. by getting out of this year's race. But his departure has thrown his home district into election chaos -- and very likely into the Democrats' hands
Fighting Dirty on the Net
Online political debate is not known for its subtlety--the blogosphere rewards the loudest voices and the brashest opinions...
The GOP Gets Nervous in Tennessee
In the race for the Senate, Harold Ford wasn't supposed to have much appeal outside his home base of Memphis. But now that he is in a virtual dead heat with his Republican opponent, the race is getting down and dirty
A Conservative Face-Off in Kentucky
Voters in this state's 4th congressional district have no problem with the values of Republican incumbent Geoff Davis. They have a problem with his party, and that's why his equally conservative Democratic challenger just may win
Playing the Victim in Louisiana
Democrat William Jefferson is a target of a federal corruption investigation and not welcome in his own party. But with the backing of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, he may just win reelection
The G.O.P.'s Firewall Strategy
With the Foley scandal increasing the likelihood of a Democratic win in the House, Republicans are turning their attention -- and money -- to the Senate
No Politics is Local in Ohio
Republican incumbent Deborah Pryce faces an uphill battle in her bellwether midwestern district, a clear sign that this is a very different kind of midterm election
Running from the GOP in New Jersey
In a race that may hold the key to control of the Senate, Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr. hopes to knock off a Democratic incumbent by keeping a distance from his own party
Pork Trumps Scandal in West Virginia
Democrat Alan Mollohan was supposed to be one ethically challenged incumbent that Republicans could beat. But so far, voters don't seem to agree
On the Attack in Illinois
The Incumbent governor and his Republican challenger compete to tar each other with the sins of the state's disgraced former chief executive
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News, Opinion and Commentary on the Political Issues of the Day
White House Photo Blog
An intimate look at the administration through the eyes of TIME's press corps photographers
Just as in 2004, this year's election might come down to what happens in Ohio. But two years later, that's about the only thing that remains the same. A corruption scandal that implicated Republican Governor Bob Taft has sunk his approval ratings to 19%, making him the second-lowest-ranked governor in the country, according to Survey USA. Another corruption scandal forced G.O.P. Congressman Bob Ney to plead guilty to charges of accepting free gifts and meals from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He's not seeking reelection, putting his House seat in danger for Republicans. And that's not all the problems for the G.O.P. in Ohio. "You've got a national anti-Republican, anti-incumbent sentiment that wasn't there two years ago," says Peter Brown, who surveys Ohio races for the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Voters aren't happy about the economy, Iraq or President Bush here either. Even Neil Clark, a veteran G.O.P. lobbyist and former top Republican state senate official, says "The state is poised to have a very bad day for Republicans."
Democratic chances of winning key races here are so high that top officials are trying to guard against activists getting complacent. "There is a danger that we may be too overly confident that there is going to be change," said Susan Gwinn, chairman of the Athens County Democratic Party in southeastern Ohio. "That's my biggest concern. I think, frankly, tighter numbers for us at the top of the ticket would probably be more mobilizing. I've heard people who say, 'I am not going to give any more money to that person, because he is so far ahead." And Democrats remain worried that the G.O.P. will outperform them at getting voters to the polls, much as the Republican turnout operation helped defy the oddsmakers in 2004. Both Democrats and Republicans say a ballot initiative to allow slot machine casino gambling in the state may help to turn out conservatives who would oppose it, although liberals may show up to support a proposed minimum wage increase also on the ballot.
These Ohio races are critical. Democrats need 15 seats to win back the House, and three of their best chances are in Ohio. In the Senate, where they need six seats, this is a place where they could win one. And both parties want the governor on their side come 2008, when the Presidential election could again be decided here. Not surprisingly, each party is active in the state, and outside groups are heavily involved as well. Both the liberal MoveOn.org and the conservative Chamber of Commerce have been running ads in the key races, and party operatives will be on the ground in the next few weeks. Here's a closer look at some of the key Ohio races:
Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) v. Senator Mike DeWine (R): This race will say a lot about how both parties will perform at the polls in 2006, and perhaps 2008 as well. That's because there's nothing particularly compelling about the personal stories of either one of these candidates; they're both career politicians DeWine served in the state senate, the U.S. House and was lieutenant governor, while Brown was a longtime state representative and the Ohio secretary of state.