Monday, October 31, 2016

John Kasich follows through on vow not to vote for Donald Trump, writes in John McCain instead

Gov. John Kasich, who had vowed not to vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, voted Monday by absentee ballot.

His choice? Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Chris Schrimpf, the governor's political spokesman, confirmed the write-in vote to cleveland.com and said Kasich voted straight-ticket Republican on the rest of his ballot. Schrimpf added that Kasich was comfortable picking McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee for president, over Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson, a former Republican on the ballot as a nonpartisan candidate.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Meet the Ohio politicians who prepared us for Donald Trump

We often say we haven't seen a candidate like Donald Trump.

But in Ohio, we have.

There was the bombastic populist with crazy hair. The orange-hued millionaire whose attempts to connect with black voters struck many as condescending. An anti-establishment favorite who characterized the media as "completely biased" for reporting on his many mistruths.

None of these pols is a perfect facsimile for Trump, the New York businessman-turned reality TV star-turned Republican nominee for president. (And none, we should stress, has offered the safe space Trump provides for bigots, misogynists and racists to revel in their hatred.)

Their candidacies are nevertheless instructive and show us why we shouldn't be so surprised by certain elements of Trump's rise. So let's reacquaint ourselves with these Trump precursors.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Donald Trump just dumped Ohio GOP chief Matt Borges

Donald Trump's candidacy of bizarre political theater persisted Saturday when, 24 days before Election Day, the presidential hopeful cut ties with Matt Borges, chairman of the Republican Party in the potentially must-win battleground of Ohio.

Does Trump have a legitimate beef with Borges?

The crux, spelled out by Ohio campaign director Bob Paduchik in a letter to members of the state GOP's central committee, is that Borges has been candid about his disappointment in Trump.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Here's how President Obama's Ohio return can help Hillary Clinton and Ted Strickland

COLUMBUS, Ohio - President Barack Obama is back on familiar political ground.

His speech here Thursday at an Ohio Democratic Party fundraising dinner kicked off two days of politicking in an important swing state that he carried in both of his White House bids.

For Obama, this is part farewell tour, part passing-of-the-torch to Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state and would-be-successor. The outgoing commander-in-chief will conclude his trip Friday in Cleveland, with a Clinton campaign rally at Burke Lakefront Airport.

Obama's visit stands out at this point in the election season calendar because ...

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Trump whisperer? Inside Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges' phone calls with The Donald

Matt Borges has become something of a Donald Trump whisperer.

When the Ohio Republican Party chairman calls, the GOP nominee for president listens.

Trump toned down his attacks on John Kasich, who challenged him in the primaries, after Borges told him it would be political suicide to pick on Ohio's popular governor. And when Borges believes the New York businessman has gone too far, he doesn't mince words.

The two speak frequently by telephone and when Trump campaigns in the Buckeye State. But the contact has intensified in recent days, as Trump's campaign reels from the damaging revelation of a 2005 video that featured him making lewd comments about women.

Borges had just hung up with Trump when cleveland.com reached the chairman by telephone Wednesday morning. He shared details of their three discussions since Sunday.

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11 times I was wrong about Donald Trump

Donald Trump is going down in a blaze of desperation.

His antics before, during and after his second debate with Hillary Clinton tell us that. His tweets lashing out at fellow Republicans for abandoning his sinking ship tell us that.

When you analyze politics on a daily basis, as I do for cleveland.com, nothing informs your writing better than a candidate's behavior. Is "blaze of desperation" a tad dramatic? Perhaps. But that's the phrase I settled on Sunday. And I'm standing by it with relative confidence.

But, full disclosure, here's one more thing you should know: We, the media, have been wrong about Trump this election cycle. A lot. He has defied so much for so long to get to where he is that it is tempting for his true believers to believe he will prove us all wrong again.

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Desperation, thy name is Donald Trump

Donald Trump's path to the White House has narrowed. The Republican Party that nominated him for president is in crisis mode. Perhaps the only suspense that remains in the final month of this race is whether Trump will face this adversity with any dignity.

Spoiler alert: The Trump who showed up Sunday in St. Louis for his second debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton seems determined to go down in a blaze of desperation.

The New York businessman is grasping for anything that might stop the bleeding from a series of self-inflicted wounds dating to their first face-off nearly two weeks ago. The deepest cut came Friday, with the emergence of a 2005 video that featured Trump speaking of women in sexually explicit terms and characterizing them as objects to be manhandled with impunity.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Hillary Clinton returns to the campaign trail in Ohio. Is she too late or just in time?

AKRON, Ohio - Eight days ago, Ohio seemed like the last place Hillary Clinton wanted to be.

The Democratic presidential nominee hadn't visited in nearly a month. Her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, had pulled ahead of her in the polls here. And despite the Buckeye State's battleground status, other electoral targets looked more promising for her.

Clinton finally returned Monday. It's too soon to tell if she was too late or just in time.

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