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A Tale of Two Weeks: “Strickland has largely flamed out as a candidate”

COLUMBUS, Ohio – This week, the Portman for Senate Campaign had another impressive week including the release of its latest TV ad, “Hero” and web video featuring Will Portman, the Associated Press highlighting the campaign's digital efforts, Google saying we have the savviest online operations, the announcement that the campaign surpassed 4 million targeted voter contacts, Sabato’s Crystal Ball moving the race from “Likely Republican” to “Safe Republican,” Ohio's first newspaper endorsement from The Courier going to Rob, Jane Portman hitting the campaign trail in Brown County, and a new Democratic leaning poll was released showing Rob 15 points ahead of Ted Strickland.

Meanwhile, Strickland did not appear in public and faced more bad news when Politifact Ohio rated his latest ad "False" and national Democrats announced they were cutting an additional $2 million worth of ads on his behalf.

Here is a review of the week that was:

Monday, September 26th:
The Portman for Senate Campaign announced that it surpassed 4 million targeted voter contacts. Since May of last year, thousands of volunteers and interns have knocked on doors and made phone calls – including to 107,906 during our last Super Saturday – talking to voters about the issues they care most about and why Rob is the best choice in the race for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat.

Morning Consult: Portman Campaign Says It’s Contacted 4 Million Voters Directly

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In other news, a new TargetSmart-William & Mary Poll shows Rob with a 15-point lead over Strickland. For the second time in under a week, a survey by a Democrat polling firm has Senator Portman leading by double digits.

Meanwhile, in another sign that Democrats are none to pleased with Strickland, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC cancelled more than $2 million worth of additional TV ads on his behalf.

Columbus Dispatch: Senate Democrats scrap more Strickland commercials

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The Hill: Dems kill more ads in Ohio

Cleveland.com: The move, which follows similar DSCC cancellations in recent weeks, means the DSCC only has ads booked for Strickland for the final two weeks before Election Day.

Tuesday, September 27th:
The Associated Press highlighted the Portman for Senate Campaign's tech-savvy online operations saying, "Portman has made some of the savviest use this election cycle of its digital resources as his campaign has begun to unravel an early lead by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland." The report goes on to describe the Portman Campaign's use of Google in order to communicate with Ohio voters about the issues they care most about saying, "Portman's campaign, for instance, has created different audiences around the state, delivering each a different online message."

Associated Press: Portman quietly deploys web tools as Ohio Senate race rages

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Roll Call: Portman Utilizes Digital Skills to Draw Support

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WTVG: Google says that Portman has used digital tools more effectively than most other candidates in the country

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WTRF: Who is the most tech-savvy user this campaign season? According to Google it is U.S. Senator Rob Portman

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WEWS: Portman "very good at effectively using data mining... he's also mastered YouTube ads, and search promotion..."

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Cleveland.com: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman's campaign has taken advantage of digital technology, from data mining to online ads. Portman's well-funded campaign has used voter databases and online ads early and often, allowing it to tailor ads to individual voters and win over hard-to-reach younger viewers.

In other news, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball updated the Ohio Senate race from "Likely Republican" to “Safe Republican” saying, “Strickland has largely flamed out as a candidate. In an age of relatively few ticket-splitters, it appears there could be a fair number of Ohioans who vote for both parties as Portman leads by double digits while Trump holds a narrow lead in the presidential race.”

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Cleveland.com: Bad news for Strickland, part 2: Meanwhile, pundit Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics has moved Ohio's U.S. Senate race rating from "Likely Republican" to "Safe Republican," noting Portman has a "massive resource advantage" and that Ted Strickland "has largely flamed out as a candidate."

Thursday, September 29th:
The Portman for Senate Campaign released its latest TV ad titled “Hero" featuring Keith Maupin, father of Staff Sgt. Matthew Maupin who tragically lost his life while fighting for our country in Iraq. Keith details Staff Sgt. Maupin's story and the importance of supporting our troops and veterans, saying, "I know that Rob Portman cares about the troops, and he cared about Matt. Rob knows how to get things done. He keeps pushing for what we need to get done for our vets, and I don't know anybody else that could do a better job for our veterans than Rob Portman." "Hero" is running statewide in Ohio on TV and online. You may click HERE or on the video below to watch “Hero."

Watch Hero Now!

In other news, Ohio's first newspaper endorsement went to Rob after northwest Ohio's The Courier announced its endorsement of his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. The Courier pointed to Rob's work on the heroin and prescription drug epidemic as well as Hancock County’s ongoing flood-control project among other issues. The Courier said, "Portman is simply the more qualified candidate," "has shown the ability to work with both Republicans and Democrats," and that he "provides Ohio’s best bet for continued strong representation." You may click HERE to read the endorsement in its entirety.

Rob's wife Jane hit the campaign trail stopping by the Brown County Fair to meet with voters and chat with fellow Ohioans. Check out these pictures from her visit:

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Meanwhile, Politifact Ohio went after Ted Strickland for his latest ad saying, "No, Portman did not vote to allow suspected terrorists to purchase guns," that the ad "obscures what really happened," and that Strickland is guilty of "distorting facts on many levels." You may click HERE to read Politifact Ohio's fact check in its entirety.

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Friday, September 30th:
Here is what they had to say about the Portman Campaign's new "Hero" TV ad:

Columbus Dispatch: Sen. Rob Portman is out with a new ad today – and it’s one featuring the father of an Army Staff Sargent from southwest Ohio who was killed in Iraq. The 60-second ad, titled “Hero,” describes how Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin went to Iraq and was captured. In the ad, Maupin’s father Keith talks about the importance of caring for veterans, arguing that Portman, a Republican who is seeking his second term in the Senate, is doing good work for veterans.

The Hill: Sen. Rob Portman’s campaign launched a new TV ad Thursday touting the Ohio Republican’s commitment to the military and veterans. The minute-long spot, titled “Hero,” features Keith Maupin, the father of a fallen soldier in Iraq. His son, Staff Sgt. Matthew Maupin, was captured in Iraq and died in 2008. The ad started running Thursday statewide and is also online.

Roll Call: Despite the downturn in support for his Democratic opponent, Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman is not letting up on his ad blitz in his race for re-election.  In his latest ad, which will run statewide, Portman features the father of Staff Sgt. Matthew Maupin, who was captured and killed in Iraq.  Maupin's father says Portman "cares about the troops." In May, Portman's campaign said it would reserve $15 million in advertising through Election Day.

Politico: Portman debuts testimonial ad on vets: The father of a fallen Iraq soldier stars in a new, 60-second TV ad that GOP Sen. Rob Portman’s campaign is airing in Ohio. “You send these guys to war, then you need to take care of them when they get back, whatever it takes that you need to do,” Keith Maupin, the father of Matt Maupin, says in the ad. “I know Rob Portman cares about the troops and he cared about Matt.”

National Journal
: Portman Ad Features Military Father - A new 60-second ad praises the Republican for supporting veterans.

Cleveland.com: The new 60-second ad is titled "Hero" stars the father of fallen Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Maupin, of Batavia, and will air across Ohio and online.

Finally, the Portman for Senate Campaign released it's latest web video featuring Rob's son, Will, talking about what he's learned from his dad saying, "I describe my dad as a real hard worker, somebody of real integrity, he loves his family and he believes in what he's doing." You may click HERE or on the video below to watch.

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