COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The polls have opened across the country on one of the most anticipated midterm elections in recent memory.
At polling locations in Montgomery County, people were lined up at ready to go before the doors opened at 6:30 a.m. That follows several days of long lines at polling locations as people took advantage of early voting.
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R) voted at Wilkinson Plaza in Dayton. Turner praised the early voting process. He also spoke about younger voters and larger role they could play in Tuesday’s election.
Democrats in Ohio are trying to turn a recent Republican tide in statewide races, relying on a ticket led by a familiar U.S. senator and a competitive governor candidate.
Sherrod Brown, first elected to Ohio office in 1974, seeks his third Senate term against fourth-term U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci. Richard Cordray, President Barack Obama’s appointee as federal consumer protection chief, is in a tight governor’s race with Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine. It’s a rematch of the 2010 election when DeWine narrowly ousted Cordray to become attorney general.
Republicans have dominated recent statewide elections, capped by Republican Donald Trump’s decisive 8-point victory for president over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Ohioans are choosing four other statewide officeholders, two Supreme Court justices and deciding a statewide drug sentencing ballot issue.
Turnout will be key Tuesday as Ohioans decide the competitive race for governor.
DeWine, one of the state’s best known politicians, faces Cordray, the Obama-era consumer watchdog, for the chance to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich.
Kasich remains popular in the closely divided state, but, as a vocal detractor of Republican President Donald Trump, his sway has been of limited help to DeWine.
The 71-year-old DeWine has walked a careful line on both the governor and president, instead relying on his long record of public service as a former lieutenant governor, congressman and U.S. senator.
The 59-year-old Cordray touts his record leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He’s also a former state treasurer and attorney general.
Polls show the two statistically tied.