OH-Sen: George Voinovich Also Edging Towards Retirement?
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 11:07:25 PM EST
... In other news, I am hearing rumors coming out of Ohio that Senator Voinovich is seriously considering making an announcement next week that he won't be running for re-election. According to my sources, Rob Portman would likely be the Republican to replace him. This also opens up the GOP gubernatorial nomination for former Republican Congressman John Kasich.
I have been saying for quite some time that Voinovich could be in for a rough time should he decide to try for another term in the Senate, and early polling indicated that either Congressman Tim Ryan or Congresswoman Betty Sutton has the potential to give Voinovich a run for his money. Perhaps, then, Voinovich is seeing the writing on the wall -- much like Mel Martinez of Florida and now Kit Bond of Missouri -- and moving into retirement.
Even if Voinovich doesn't retire, this could be an upper tier race. But with Voinovich out, Ohio becomes one of the premier races of the cycle, with a relatively deep bench for the Democrats to go up against a Rob Portman or a John Kasich on the Republican side. With Voinovich in, this race still probably leans Republican, though with him out it moves right into tossup status.
Update [2009-1-9 8:36:3 by Jonathan Singer]: More from The Columbus Dispatch, which ledes as follows: "Sen. George V. Voinovich reportedly is considering not seeking re-election in 2010, well-placed sources in the Republican Party tell The Dispatch."