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Rob Portman tries to find common ground with Donald Trump. Tom Coyne already found it. Read more in Ohio Politics Roundup. New this morning: More Ohio polling from Quinnipiac University. Today's release includes numbers on the closely watched Senate race...

Are Donald Trump and Rob Portman in sync on trade? Ohio Politics Roundup

Rob Portman tries to find common ground with Donald Trump. Tom Coyne already found it. Read more in Ohio Politics Roundup. New this morning: More Ohio polling from Quinnipiac University. Today's release includes numbers on the closely watched Senate race...

Are Donald Trump and Rob Portman in sync on trade? Ohio Politics Roundup

Rob Portman tries to find common ground with Donald Trump. Tom Coyne already found it. Read more in Ohio Politics Roundup.

New this morning: More Ohio polling from Quinnipiac University. Today's release includes numbers on the closely watched Senate race between Republican incumbent Rob Portman and Democratic challenger Ted Strickland. The poll shows the race in a statistical tie. Here's more from cleveland.com's Jeremy Pelzer.

Threading the needle: Portman continues to approach presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump with caution. A supporter of Gov. John Kasich's now-defunct White House candidacy, Portman has since endorsed Trump, while pointing out areas where they disagree.

But during a call Tuesday with reporters, he sought an awkward alignment with Trump on the sticky issue of free trade. Portman "portrayed himself as in sync with Mr. Trump on trade issues, citing Mr. Trump's criticism of currency manipulation by China as a way to make Chinese products cheaper next to American products," the Toledo Blade's Tom Troy writes.

"However, Mr. Portman is a longtime supporter of international free trade agreements, and a mainstay of Mr. Trump's stump speech is criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the incompetence of American officials in negotiating international trade."

Ad war intensifies: A new Ohio Democratic Party web video contrasts Portman's embrace of Trump with reservations from other Buckeye State Republicans. Meanwhile, Portman's camp is up with a web ad emphasizing his work on student loans and his allies at a super PAC have a new cable spot blasting Strickland, the Columbus Dispatch's Jessica Wehrman reports.

The Donald's other kindred spirit: Brook Park Mayor Tom Coyne, a longtime Democrat with an independent streak, made some waves by coming out for Trump before the Ohio primary. Understanding Coyne and his city are key to understanding the opportunities Trump has in some of the Buckeye State's working-class towns, cleveland.com's Mark Naymik notes.

Team Trump coming to town: The New York businessman "will send some of the top members of his campaign staff to Cleveland this week to go over planning for the upcoming Republican National Convention," cleveland.com's Andrew J. Tobias reports.

A spokesman for the convention "confirmed the meeting with the Trump campaign, but didn't know additional details, other than Trump himself is not expected to be here for the meeting, which is planned for Thursday or Friday. ... A source with knowledge of the visit said convention manager Paul Manafort, deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner and political director Rick Wiley are among the top Trump staffers expected to make the trip."

It's not over? Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in an interview Tuesday on Glenn Beck's radio show, cracked open the door ever so slightly to rejoining the Republican race – if he were able to score a surprise win in last night's Nebraska primary or perhaps a future contest.

"Well I am not holding my breath," Cruz said. My assumption is that will not happen. We launched this campaign intending to win. The reason we suspended the race last week ... I didn't see a viable path to victory. If that changes, we will certainly respond accordingly."

Ryan's rapprochement: House Speaker Paul Ryan, who may or may not preside over the Cleveland convention, continues to thread a needle when it comes to a Trump endorsement.

"It's going to take more than a week just to repair and unify this party," the Wisconsin Republican said Tuesday in an interview with the Wall Street Journal's Gerald F. Seib. "So I think what we want to do is sit down together and talk about how we can unify the Republican Party so we can be at full strength in the fall, because if we just pretend we're unified without actually unifying, then we'll be at half-strength in the fall, and that won't go well for us."

Veepstakes watch: Trump, the Associated Press reports, "says he's narrowed his list of potential running mates to 'five or six people,' all with deep political resumes. He says he has not ruled out New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former rival who has embraced the billionaire's campaign with gusto." The businessman does not expect to make his pick until the convention.

If all of this drama drives you to drink ... here's a list, via cleveland.com's Tobias, of 240 Cleveland venues seeking permission to serve after-hours alcohol during convention week.

Medical marijuana bill advances at the Statehouse: "Ohio took a big step forward Tuesday to becoming the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana," cleveland.com's Jackie Borchardt reports. "The Ohio House on Tuesday" – by a 71-26 vote – "approved a bill legalizing marijuana use for people with qualifying medical conditions with a doctor's recommendation."

What does this mean for pending ballot measures? "Ballot group Ohioans for Medical Marijuana said Tuesday they're not backing down," Borchardt notes. "Their effort ... lists several more qualifying conditions than the House bill and allows people to smoke and grow their own marijuana. 'It's a shame lawmakers couldn't have made history with a vote on a substantive and meaningful medical marijuana bill,' spokesman Aaron Marshall said."

The 2018 Senate race watch: Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel put a few feathers in his OhioCheckbook.com cap Tuesday, announcing that five of the state's 14 public universities will post their expenditures online as part of the Republican's pet project, Borchardt reports.

U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, a potential primary rival for Mandel, met this week with recovering addicts, ahead of a key vote on bills related to opioid addiction, the Dispatch's William T. Perkins writes.

And Cincinnati City Councilman PG Sittenfeld, who lost to Strickland in the March primary, announced on Twitter that he has launched a podcast – "Keepin' it PG." Sittenfeld probably won't run if Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown seeks re-election. But the ambitious young pol – he's only 31 – certainly will be in the conversation for other statewide contests in 2018.

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