Apparently the Donald Trump regime is scared of Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, including him as a target in next year’s mid-term election with the hope of weakening him before the 2020 U.S. Presidential cycle.

From Politico:

Allies of Donald Trump have begun plotting to take down or weaken potential Democratic challengers in 2020, including several who will be on the ballot in next year’s midterms.

The 2018-focused work ranges from a major donor-funded super PAC designed to blemish Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s image, to a full-scale effort to defeat Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown outright before he gets the chance to take on Trump. Beyond that, after months of monitoring dozens of potential challengers, Trump allies are building research files and crafting lines of attack on Democrats seen as most threatening to Trump and who will be on the ballot next November.

The patchwork push is less organized than past efforts orchestrated by presidential reelection campaigns. But it’s beginning to resemble Republicans’ successful attempt to drag down Hillary Clinton before she announced her 2016 run. Plus, with Trump under siege from Democrats and Republicans — and with his team wary of a GOP primary challenge — it’s more confirmation that Trump allies are already maneuvering for a bruising 2020 campaign.

So while Brown works on things such as fighting for overtime pay for American workers, and fighting against Republican plans to cut Social Security and Medicare and tax retirement savings, and defending DREAMers, President Trump and his cadre of political henchmen are busy playing politics, attempting to besmirch Brown’s reputation.

More from Politico:

Republicans are also closely watching Brown. A finalist to be Hillary Clinton’s vice president in 2016, the Ohio senator is now running a close campaign for a third term in a battleground state that Trump carried after Barack Obama won it twice.

Seeing a chance to beat the populist senator before he could even consider a White House run, people close to Trump’s political team have signed up with two different Republican candidates vying to unseat Brown.

Jeff Roe — the Ted Cruz campaign manager who has been in close touch with members of Trump’s circles, including son-in-law Jared Kushner — is helping guide state treasurer Josh Mandel’s second attempt at beating Brown. And Lewandowski held a fundraiser for Mandel in Akron last month.

Other Trump allies are working to elect Cleveland banker Mike Gibbons, a 2016 Ohio co-chair for the joint committee run by Trump and the RNC. New Hampshire-based Michael Biundo, a former senior national political adviser to Trump’s campaign, is leading Gibbons’ bid, joined by strategists at the Prosper Group digital media firm that also worked for the president last year.

Because the other potential Democratic contenders are all likely to skate to reelection and the GOP’s short-term task is simply to dent their image or test messages against them, Trump allies see beating Brown as an ideal way to segue from the midterms to the presidential reelection bid.

So now we have an answer as to why both Mandel and Gibbons are so shamelessly imitating Trump’s vulgar form of politics – they are both doing so in consultation with Trump’s hired goons.

As Plunderbund reported, Gibbons came out with a web ad last month talking tough about “Fake News,” and Mandel is taking a certain amount of glee in his latest Trumpish persona, because, as the Plain Dealer’s Brent Larkin keenly observed, for Mandel, “not gutter is too deep, no shot too cheap.”

Last year, Republicans poured tens of millions of dollars of dark money into Ohio to secure Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s re-election bid against former Gov. Ted Strickland. It’s unclear whether Mandel – who is well-loathed even among fellow Republicans – will be able to secure that type of institutional support. And Gibbons presents an even bigger question mark.

But what is clear is that the Trump Round Top Of Cruelty and Hate is already in Ohio, and the freak show is on parade.