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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Ohio’s Senate race heats up alongside battle for Oval Office

Debonaire Wright
The interior of the Portage County Board of Elections Office, responsible for handling voting concerns for the residents of Portage County on Jan. 29, 2024.

With Democrats currently holding authority in the U.S. Senate and presidential seat, Republicans in Ohio and nationally are looking toward the March 19 primary election to put forth the best GOP candidate for the November general election.

Republicans find themselves choosing between a couple different candidates in both races. The GOP presidential candidates include former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump. For the Democrats, incumbent President Joe Biden seeks reelection and leads the Democratic polls. 

Three Republican hopefuls look to take on incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in the Senate race which include: Matt Dolan, a state senator; Frank LaRose, Ohio’s secretary of state; and Bernie Moreno, a Cleveland businessman endorsed by Trump.

Michael Ensley, an associate professor of political science, said the primary election is how voters will decide what candidates from each party will be running in the general election or who will receive the nomination from their respective party. 

“It’s a procedure which the parties use to choose who their nominee will be for the upcoming general election,” Ensley said. “It’s this sequential process where states go in a prescribed order, and those elections help allocate various delegates to the ultimate convention which occurs over the summer.” 

The GOP nominee for the Senate will look to oust Brown in November, who was first elected to his seat in 2007. Looking at the executive branch, Ensley said Biden will seek reelection for the Democrats and not receive a challenger within his own party, similar to Brown’s senate seat. 

Ensley said Biden represents a more liberal path that the Democratic Party is headed towards.

“Joe Biden is a longtime Democratic figure and represents the current mainstream,” he said. “The party itself is shifting in a more progressive direction.” 

Biden’s counterpart, Trump, is seeking his second term in office after losing in the 2020 election.  

After previous GOP presidential candidates Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out of the race, Haley became Trump’s sole opponent on the GOP side. 

While Haley is still in the race, Ensley said it is doubtful she will accomplish what she set out to achieve. 

“Although [Haley] is still technically in the race and has vowed to keep competing, it is unlikely that she can be successful in that endeavor,” Ensley said. 

Malcolm Neitenbach, a junior psychology major and president of the Kent State College Republicans, said Haley is still in the race but most people are not in favor of her. 

“It’s not looking too good for Nikki Haley,” he said. 

Neitenbach said the reason for Haley’s lack of popularity is from her low number of votes. 

“It’s essentially going to be a rematch of the 2020 election of Joe Biden versus Donald Trump,” Ensley said. 

Neitenbach said voting in elections is important, and those who are capable of voting should exercise that right.

“Everybody should be voting,” he said. “No matter what political views you hold, no matter what you side with, you should be able to speak that freedom of speech.” 

Note: KentWired was unable to gain comment from the Kent State College Democrats, the Students for a Democratic Society and the Kent State College Democrats’ faculty advisor despite reaching out to organizations and its presidents twice. 

MinJee Yoo is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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