21 News political analyst: U.S. Senate race in Ohio could have 2 - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

21 News political analyst: U.S. Senate race in Ohio could have 2020 implications

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

21 News political analyst Dr. Bill Binning provided some takeaways after the first U.S. Senate debate in Ohio at 21 WFMJ.

Binning predicted that this race between incumbent Republican Senator Rob Portman and former Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland could have implications for the 2020 presidential election.

The U.S. Senate race in Ohio is over unless something cataclysmic happens, according to Binning.

Portman has kept a double digit lead and Binning said that the debate was not a game changer.

Strickland continued to defend job losses during his time as governor but Binning claimed that continuing to talk about it only hurt Strickland.

Even though Strickland went after Portman's free trade record during the debate, Binning thought that this attack has been a missed opportunity so far for the former governor.

"I thought that he (Portman) would get pinned down more but he's been sort of a Teflon candidate. They've not really nailed him on his position on trade and he seemed like he finished today's (Friday's) debate still being a free trader but probably not going to suffer very significant political consequences from that," commented Binning.

Binning predicted Portman's campaign will continue to push to run up his numbers, which would look especially good if Donald Trump loses or wins narrowly in Ohio.

"It will boost Portman's stock nationally that people will say wow he's quite the candidate. He must know how to campaign. He might be someone we want to look at in 2020 assuming the Donald loses."

It was still unclear on Friday, how much of an effect there could be from Portman recently rescinding his endorsement of Trump.

Portman and Strickland will debate again Monday in Columbus. 

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