COLUMBUS, Ohio – This week, the Portman for Senate Campaign had another impressive week including the release of its latest TV ad, "Strong," three new radio ads, the announcement that the campaign reached 5 million targeted voter contacts, a successful College Student Day of Action, more newspaper endorsements, and of course more stops on the "Countdown to Victory" RV tour. The tour made stops in Columbus, Brecksville, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Canton, West Chester, Athens, Terrace Park, Athens, Marietta, Uhrichsville, Carrollton, Akron, Findlay, and Springfield meeting with hundreds of students, veterans, miners, union members, and supporters.
Meanwhile, with less that two weeks until Election Day, Ted Strickland was rarely seen in public.
Here is a review of the week that was:
Monday, October 24th:
As part of its targeted outreach, the Portman for Senate Campaign released its latest radio ads featuring African American leaders from across Ohio, Bishop Timothy Clarke of Columbus, Reverend Henry Curtis of Cleveland, and Reverend Damon Lynch, Jr. of Cincinnati. The ads highlight Rob's support from the community and his work to put in place policies that promote good-paying jobs, fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic, his leadership to reduce recidivism through his legislation co-authored with the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), the Second Chance Act, and his record of delivering results for Ohio workers and their families.
You May Click Here to Listen to the New Radio Ad Featuring Bishop Timothy Clarke
"I support Senator Portman because I have seen in him a man of integrity and a man of commitment and a man of true decency."
You May Click Here to Listen to the New Radio Ad Featuring Rev. Henry Curtis
"I've been able to see [Rob's] heart for the citizens of the state of Ohio and his record in helping Ohioans of every walk of life."
You May Click Here to Listen to the New Radio Ad Featuring Rev. Damon Lynch, Jr.
"Rob Portman is a great leader... warm, friendly, engaging - all of those attributes I have seen embodied in him... He is the kind of person we need in Ohio to represent us in the Senate."
Here is what they had to say:
Cleveland.com: Portman radio ads that began airing Monday in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus highlight how his anti-heroin addiction bill was "signed by President Obama." Each of the three ads, aimed at black voters, tout how a number of Portman's bills have won bipartisan support and feature a testimonial from a local African-American pastor for the senator.
Roll Call: On Monday, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, released three radio ads with African-American pastors from across the state talking about his bill to help former prisoners with education and job training... The ads come despite Portman holding a double-digit lead in polls over his Democratic opponent, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
Politico: GOP Sen. Rob Portman is running radio ads featuring African-American leaders. Listen here, here and here.
National Journal: Sen. Rob Portman (R) launched a series of new radio ads highlighting support from African American leaders, including Bishop Timothy Clarke of Columbus, Reverend Henry Curtis of Cleveland, and Reverend Damon Lynch, Jr. of Cincinnati.
In other news, Dana Perino praised the success of the Portman for Senate Campaign on NBC's "Today." Watch as Perino explains that Democrats decided that they're "going to have to let that one go" in this video:
Finally, Rob met with his Veterans Leadership Council in Columbus. Launched in August of 2015, this diverse group of veterans from across Ohio has been advising the Portman Campaign on issues impacting veterans and helping to spread the word on Rob’s policy initiatives to support America’s best and brightest. Chaired by Air Force Veteran and Vietnam POW Colonel Thomas Moe, the Veterans Leadership Council is an active component of the Portman for Senate Campaign.
Tuesday, October 25th:
The Portman for Senate Campaign announced that it surpassed 5 million targeted voter contacts. Since May of last year, thousands of volunteers and interns have knocked on doors and made phone calls – including to 161,492 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.
In other news, Rob stopped in Athens to visit with some of his interns and volunteers and to make calls to Ohio voters. With less than two weeks until Election Day, the energy and excitement behind the Portman Campaign can be felt all across the state of Ohio. Rob also stopped in Marietta to tour Pioneer Pipe and visit with workers.
Here is what they had to say:
Marietta Times: Portman was in town as part of his 35-county campaign tour in Ohio. He made a stop at Pioneer Pipe in Marietta Tuesday afternoon, taking a tour of the facility.
Athens Post: Portman, who is running for re-election, was in town as part of his "Countdown to Victory" RV tour throughout Ohio, which launched over the weekend and has included stops in Columbus, Toledo, Akron and Dayton. About 20 people were present in the second floor campaign office at 80 N. Court St., including Athens County Republican Party Chair Pete Couladis, Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson and Ohio House of Representatives candidate Jay Edwards... According to data from the campaign, volunteers at Athens office have made just short of 67,000 calls and have knocked on 36,367 doors. Portman called the Athens campaign office “small but mighty.”
Finally, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel endorsed Rob for U.S. Senate. The editorial highlighted Rob's work to balance the budget, reduce burdensome regulations, protect the Second Amendment, repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare, and unleash Ohio's energy potential saying that Rob "can do this kind of work for Ohio because he knows how to work with even those who do not always agree with him." Of Ted Strickland the editorial said, "Though Strickland may believe Washington is a land of Liberals vs. the rest of us, Portman has quietly been able to write 45 bills that became law."
Wednesday, October 26th:
The Portman for Senate campaign announced its College Student Day of Action, a day of grassroots organizing across Ohio's college campuses led by the Students for Portman Coalition. The campaign purchased two Snapchat filters on 30 campuses and members of the Students for Portman coalition distributed 115,000 flyers on over 30 campuses contrasting Rob's fight to help students with Ted's record of failure for Ohio students. Over the course of this campaign, Rob has visited over 20 campuses and he will visit 12 college campuses on his current "Countdown to Victory" RV Tour. Check out these pictures of the students in action:
In other news, Rob stopped in Uhrichsville to meet with coal workers at Rosebud Tusky Coal Mine. As a reminder, in June, the United Mine Workers of America endorsed Rob for re-election to the U.S. Senate.
Here is what they had to say:
Times Reporter: Rob Portman touts importance of coal in visit to Tuscarawas County mine
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman stopped at the Tusky Mine on Wednesday to meet with coal miners as part of his 35-county "Countdown to Victory" RV Tour.
"I love doing these tours," said Portman, who is running for reelection this year. "It gives us a chance to see what's actually happening on the ground, how the policies in Washington are effecting jobs. In this case, we've got a coal mine that's been shut down because of the war on coal."
The mine, located just east of Dennison on Pleasant Valley Road, is operated by the Rosebud Coal Co. According to Gary Alkire, Rosebud's manager of permitting in Ohio, the mine has been idled since last November.
At one time, the mine employed between 60 and 80 people.
The preparation plant is still in operation, but only on a limited basis. "We can only process the coal that we can sell," Alkire said. "Right now, the way things are with these power plants closing in Ohio, our markets are severely reduced, so we're having trouble selling the coal that we're capable of making and producing here."
Portman said he has introduced legislation in the Senate to burn coal more cleanly.
"I'd like to use our Ohio coal and our Ohio power plants, and give the power plants a tax incentive to burn it more cleanly," he said.
During his tour of the Tusky Mine, the senator walked the grounds and went through the coal preparation plant.
Among those accompanying Portman was Jerry Murphy of New Athens, who works at Rosebud's Vail Mine near Freeport. Murphy comes from a family of miners. His father, brother, brother-in-law and two uncles also are in the profession. Murphy has also appeared in campaign ads for the senator.
Portman said it's important for someone in his position to see the impact that regulations written in Washington have on families and communities.
Speaking of Murphy, he said, "This is a family tradition, and they love it. They want to mine coal."
Portman said he believes that coal has a future in Ohio.
"We still have a lot of coal-fired plants. Sixty-eight percent of us get our electricity from coal. Ohio is a coal state. We produce it, we move it, we burn it, we use it for electricity. In the past five and a half years, during this administration, the price of electricity for consumers has gone up 25 percent in Ohio. Federal regulations have resulted in the shutdown of 14 power plants already."
The industry has been hit hard by the low price of coal, as well as competition from the natural gas industry. Construction has begun on a gas-fired power plant in Carrollton, and plans are in the works for another in Harrison County.
Portman said the availability of natural gas has had an impact on coal.
"That's part of the issue, no question about it, but there's room for both," he said. "Natural gas can be used in so many other ways, for home heating and fuel, that you're not going to look to coal for."
He noted that an energy bill passed by the Senate would allow the export of natural gas, which would help increase energy production in eastern Ohio.
Portman also took a swipe at his opponent in the Senate race, former Gov. Ted Strickland. He said Strickland used to be pro-coal but now supports the regulations that coal company officials are worried about.
Christian Palich, president of the Ohio Coal Association, applauded Portman's visit.
"That Sen. Portman came out here to hear first-hand what President Obama's war on coal has done to eastern and southeastern Ohio shows he's the friend of coal in the race for the United States Senate," Palich said. "His opponent endorsed Hillary Clinton, who said she's going to put coal miners like Jerry (Murphy) out of business. That's unacceptable, so we really appreciate the senator coming out here and hearing first-hand what the issues of our companies are and going back to Washington and fighting for us. And that's what he's done in his first term and we know he's going to do in his second."
Portman's "Countdown to Victory" tour will make 80 stops across the state, including 12 colleges, and will cover more than 4,000 miles.
Following the mine visit, Rob joined Tonda DaRe and Holly's Song of Hope for a lunch event in Carrollton to discuss the heroin and prescription drug epidemic that has hurt too many families. The group also discussed Rob's Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which tackles the epidemic head on by expanding education and prevention efforts, helping law enforcement reverse overdoses to save lives, and expanding treatment and recovery programs. Rob began this legislative effort in 2014 and CARA was singed into law earlier this year. Tonda played an instrumental role in helping the Senate pass Rob’s bipartisan legislation. On January 27, 2016, after an invitation from Rob, Tonda shared her story at a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing. The Portman for Senate Campaign's TV ad “Holly” features Tonda whose daughter Holly tragically died at the age of 21 from a heroin overdose on October 12, 2012. Tonda tells her powerful story and highlights Rob’s CARA and his continued fight to combat the drug epidemic gripping Ohio families like hers.
In other news, before heading to game two of the World Series, Rob met with College Republicans at the University of Akron. These students have been an instrumental part of the Students for Portman Coalition, which is organized on more than 30 college and university campuses and over 200 high schools. The coalition continues to be an important part of the campaign moving forward, including earlier this week, when hundreds of students supporting Rob distributed 115,000 flyers on over 30 campuses contrasting Rob's fight to help students with Ted's record of failure for Ohio students. We're excited to work with these students to ensure that Rob’s message and record of delivering results for families continues to reach every corner of Ohio.
Also on Wednesday, the New York Times updated their 2016 Senate Election Forecast saying, "Rob Portman is almost certain to retain his Senate seat." The update obviously wasn't good news for Ted Strickland as they gave him a less that 1 percent chance of winning the U.S. Senate race. Check out these updated graphs from the New York Times:
Finally, the Portman for Senate Campaign announced that the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram endorsed Rob for U.S. Senate. The editorial highlighted Rob's work to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic, problems with lead in drinking water, and his work standing up to China for their unfair and illegal trade practices. The editorial said that Rob is "part of an increasingly rare breed in Washington, legislators who find common ground with members of the other party." Of Ted Strickland the Chronicle Telegram said, "As a legislator, though, Strickland, who served six terms in the U.S. House, had a limited record of achievement."
Thursday, October 27th:
The Portman for Senate Campaign released its latest TV ad, "Strong," highlighting Rob's endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) of Ohio - the state's largest law enforcement union representing more than 25,000 workers - and featuring Ohio FOP President Jay McDonald. The Ohio FOP endorsement was considered a major "political blow" for Ted Strickland considering the union endorsed the former governor in 2006 and 2010. "Strong" is running statewide and is a part of the campaign's $15 million ad reservation. You may click HERE or on the video below to watch "Strong."
Here is what they had to say:
Columbus Dispatch: Sen. Rob Portman today released a TV ad highlighting Portman’s endorsement form the Fraternal Order of Police Ohio, the state’s largest law enforcement union. The ad, title “Strong,” features Ohio FOP President Jay McDonald, who says Portman has “always stood strong for law enforcement.” McDonald also touts Portman’s work on anti-drug legislation. It’s part of the campaign’s overall $15 million ad reservation and is airing statewide. The union, which represents more than 25,000, endorsed Strickland during his gubernatorial bids in 2006 and 2010.
Politico: Ohio Fraternal Order of Police President Jay McDonald talks about why the union chose to endorse GOP Sen. Rob Portman in a new campaign ad. “Ohio's Police officers need a Senator who will have our backs and after examining the candidates records, the FOP endorsed Rob Portman. He's always stood strong for law enforcement and no elected official in America is doing more to fight back against the heroin epidemic than Senator Portman,” McDonald says in the ad.
National Journal: Sen. Rob Portman (R) launched a new TV ad featuring Jay McDonald, the president of the state’s Fraternal Order of the Police. McDonald says in the ad that his group endorsed Portman because the Republican “always stood strong for law enforcement, and no elected official in America is doing more to fight back against the heroin epidemic.”
Also on Thursday, Ohio's leading African American newspaper, the Call & Post, endorsed Rob Portman for U.S. Senate saying, "It is the distinct privilege of the Call & Post to highly recommend and support Rob Portman for United States Senate." The Call & Post is distributed in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.
In other news, the Washington Examiner reported on the Ohio Senate race saying, "Portman leads in statewide polling averages by nearly 16 points and has exceeded 50 percent of the vote in four of the last five major polls... Strickland has to be a disappointment to Democrats who thought he would be their best shot of taking Portman's seat. According to one poll, Portman is even beating him handily in the congressional district Strickland represented off and on for a dozen years." Meanwhile, Roll Call said that Rob is "believed to be running the year’s best Senate campaign."
In addition, the Lima News reported on Rob's trip to Lima's Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) where he was joined by Senator Sherrod Brown, Congressman Jim Jordan, and the Under Secretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy. Here is what the Lima News had to say:
...Murphy was able to see the upgrades being made to the M1 Abrams battle tank, which Portman said will continue “at a higher level” for the next several years. He also viewed the production of armored vehicles the JSMC sells to foreign countries, such as Morocco, Israel and Egypt...
"This is really exciting for the plant and its future,” Portman said. “As we look forward, we think this plant will continue to provide an essential and unique national security mission. But it will also continue to help the economy here.”
...In December 2015, Portman announced that he helped secure $371 million in funding to support research, development and procurement of 81 Stryker vehicles with an upgraded weapon system, with some of the work being done at the JSMC. Previously, in June 2015, a Portman-authored amendment to authorize the $371 million was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act...
Following his visit to Lima, Rob made his first stop of the day on his "Countdown to Victory" RV tour at the University of Findlay to meet with College Republicans. These students have been an instrumental part of the Students for Portman Coalition, which is organized on more than 30 college and university campuses and over 200 high schools. The coalition continues to be an important part of the campaign moving forward, including earlier this week, when hundreds of students supporting Rob distributed 115,000 flyers on over 30 campuses contrasting Rob's fight to help students with Ted's record of failure for Ohio students. We're excited to work with these students to ensure that Rob’s message and record of delivering results for families continues to reach every corner of Ohio.
Following his event at the University of Findlay, Rob made his way to Clark County to meet with and thank supporters at the local GOP headquarters with less than two weeks until Election Day.
Finally, this happened on Thursday:
Athens Post: Strickland says he's 'not sure' if he can beat Portman in Athens speech
Friday, October 28th:
The Portman for Senate Campaign announced that the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute (HBRI) endorsed Rob Portman for U.S. Senate. The HBRI recognized Rob’s work within the Hispanic community and his record of fighting for pro-growth policies leading to better wages and more jobs saying, "We appreciate Senator Portman’s respect for the unique opportunities that are available to all Americans – and to Hispanics in particular – through small-business ownership."
Finally, Cleveland.com's Henry Gomez was on CSPAN this morning to discuss the Ohio Senate race saying, "You can't say enough about the great campaign Rob Portman has run and the comparatively poor campaign that Ted Strickland has run." Be sure to click HERE or on the video below to see what else Henry Gomez had to say.