Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Portman Has More Money In His Campaign War Chest But Strickland Has Already Pulled Ahead Of Him With The Voters


Although his supporters assure me he's no longer anti-Choice or anti-LGBT, Blue America is unlikely to ever endorse right-of-center Ohio Democrat Ted Strickland, a former congressman and governor. He was never a Blue America type of politician and he's not a Blue America kind of candidate. His opponent, incumbent Rob Portman, is of course worse... much worse. I expect virtually every Blue America member in Ohio will vote-- perhaps even enthusiastically-- for Strickland in 2016.

Judging by the NRSC's twitter patterns, there is no Democratic Senate candidate-- with the possible exceptions of Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Joe Sestak (D-PA)-- they fear more than Strickland. Even before he announced that he was running they were spewing a ceaseless barrage of tweets about what a terrible candidate he is. The NRSC called attention to Strickland, whose name recognition is already sky-high, and their immature new media "strategy" seemed the height of ineffectiveness.

Yesterday a new Quinnipiac Poll was released showing Strickland, who has barely started campaigning yet, ahead of Portman-- 48-39%. Portman has been a mediocre, low-profile senator who caters more to the Beltway than to Ohio voters.
Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said Portman also has a name ID problem, noting that 44 percent of Ohio voters said they did not know enough about him to have an opinion. By contrast, 21 percent said they didn't know enough about Strickland to say whether they liked him or not.

"A governor who has been out of office for six years is still much better known than a senator who has been in office for six years," Brown said. "Obviously this is pretty good news for Ted Strickland."

"... But we have a long, long way to go" before the election, Brown added. Portman has "plenty of time" to make up that gap.

About 38 percent of Ohio voters have a favorable opinion of Portman, while 49 percent have a positive view of Strickland. The former Ohio governor has an 18 percentage-point edge among independents.
So far, Blue America has endorsed two Senate candidates, Donna Edwards in Maryland and Alan Grayson in Florida, and both will be facing tough primaries from more conservative candidates backed by the Establishment. (Next up will probably be Russ Feingold in Wisconsin.) Strickland doesn't need support from groups like Blue America. The Democratic Establishment loves him and is completely behind his race. Buckeye liberal icon Sherrod Brown has endorsed him and last week Bill Clinton was in Ohio to campaigning for him and has endorsed him as well. It is generally thought that Hillary at the top of the ticket will help Strickland in urban areas and that Strickland's presence on the ticket will help Clinton in Ohio's Appalachian region, which he represented in Congress and which is one of the swing regions of the state.

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