George Will, a longtime leading conservative voice who broke with the Republican Party over Donald Trump and wants to see a Democrat take over the White House in 2020, has identified in a Washington Post column today the possible “optimum challenger” to Trump: Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Start with the fact that Brown is from Ohio, which has been a key swing state since long before Florida became the “other” key swing state. A cool fact from the column: No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio, and Ohio has gone with the winner of all but two presidential elections since 1892.
And, Will notes, Brown was on the midterm ballot in 2018, winning a third Senate term by a six-point margin in a state Trump had carried two years earlier by eight. Like many others who are obviously “mulling a bid “ (as the saying goes), Brown has been noncommittal about his plans for 2020, but he’s on almost every list of possible candidates. The last time CNN’s Chris Cillizza ranked the enormous field of possible Dem 2020 candidates, he ranked Brown eighth. (Minnesota’s own Amy Klobuchar ranked seventh. The top three were Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke and Joe Biden.)
By the way (this is one my own key litmus tests), Brown voted against the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq (29 out of 50 Democratic senators, including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, voted aye).