Elections 2020: The battle for Ohio is on

By: - January 3, 2020 2:33 pm

President Donald Trump is seen during a visit of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio in 2019. His first rally of 2020 will take place in Toledo.

The Democratic candidates are focused on other states which host primary contests earlier than Ohio’s in March. 

President Donald Trump, with no formidable Republican challengers, is not as beholden to the primary schedule. The Trump administration is already making a push for Ohio voters’ attention, with two events planned here in the coming week.

Trump is hosting a rally in Toledo on Thursday, Jan. 9. The day before, daughter-in-law Lara Trump will host a similar event at the Hilton Columbus at Easton. Tickets are available for both on Trump’s official website. 

Focus on Ohio

Trump has been a frequent visitor to Ohio as a candidate and as president. He hosted five rallies in Ohio during the 2015-16 Republican primary, then 15 more here during the general election campaign.

After his 2016 election, the first of several “victory rallies” around the nation was held in Cincinnati.

Since then, he hosted a rally in July 2017 in Youngstown; numerous rallies in the fall of 2018 to campaign for Ohio Republicans such as Jim Jordan and Mike DeWine; and an August 2019 rally in Cincinnati alongside Vice President Mike Pence.

His most recent trip to Ohio was last September to tour a new factory in Wapakoneta. 

Trump’s event in Toledo will mark his first campaign rally in 2020 ⁠— which have been rebranded from “Make America Great Again” to “Keep America Great” for the purposes of a reelection campaign.

As of Friday, there remain 14 major Democratic candidates still in the 2020 race; 13 of them (sans Marianne Williamson) filed for the Ohio primary on March 17. Many of the candidates participated in a Democratic debate in Westerville last October, and that same month a handful of them spoke at the party’s annual state dinner. 

Michael Bloomberg recently visited Chillicothe and met with the city’s mayor, Luke Feeney. (Feeney had been invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.) Elizabeth Warren has opened several offices in Ohio, while Joe Biden tapped North Royalton, Ohio native Greg Schultz to be his campaign manager.

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Tyler Buchanan
Tyler Buchanan

Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.