Latest numbers show him with big lead in polls –
Story and photo by Patricia Beech –
Nearly 50 local Republicans gathered at the McCoy Lumber Depot in Peebles on Saturday, Oct. 8 for a meet and greet with United States Senator Rob Portman. Portman is running for re-election against Ohio’s former Democratic governor Ted Strickland. The event was hosted by Jack and Sis McCoy.
Without mentioning Donald Trump by name, Portman told those present, “We’re in a race right now that’s incredibly important for our country. It’s not just another campaign. Think of the Supreme Court and the Second Amendment and excessive government regulations.”
A year ago the race between Portman and Strickland was expected to be a tight contest that could potentially result in Democrats wresting control of the Senate from Republicans.
However, in recent months Portman has pulled ahead in his re-election bid, leaving Strickland in the proverbial dust. Four October polls now show the Senator ahead of his Democratic opponent by as many as 17 points.
“Thanks to our strong grassroots support across Ohio, we have had an incredible quarter,” said Portman campaign staffer Michawn Rich. “We are continuing to set Ohio fundraising and grassroots records.” Rich said the campaign has surpassed 4.2 million voter contacts through their door-to-door and phone programs.
While Portman raised more than $4.5 million in the third quarter of 2016 from more than 20,000 individual donors across Ohio, funding from outside groups spending millions on ads hammering Strickland has put Portman comfortably ahead in the polls.
Portman has also won the backing of several key organizations including the Ohio Conference of Teamsters, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the IUOE Local 18, and the United Mine Workers of America. All three supported former governor Strickland in past elections.
This week, Portman’s campaign released its latest TV ad featuring Rob’s wife Jane and 30 prominent African American pastors from around Ohio endorsing the Senator.
According to campaign insiders, “Ted Strickland was stuck on the defensive after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC announced they were cancelling an additional $1.1 million in TV ads on his behalf”, and finally the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Strickland, “seemed almost resigned to his possible defeat” when he said to a group of reporters, “If I wake up the morning of November 9 and Hillary Clinton is the president-elect and I have not been successful, I will be a happy guy.”