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ICYMI: "With Strickland, Democrats' hopes of Ohio US Senate win fade"

COLUMBUS, OhioToday, the Associated Press highlighted exactly why former Governor Ted Strickland is failing in his bid for U.S. Senate saying, "Besides Strickland's sluggish fundraising — he's made a couple of verbal gaffes, lost several key endorsements and suffered from a perception that he lacks Portman's pace and passion." The article even quoted one of Ted's fellow Democrats conceding that the Portman for Senate Campaign is "one of the best campaigns in the country."

With Strickland, Democrats' hopes of Ohio US Senate win fade
Julie Carr Smyth
September 23, 2016
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Some Ohio Democrats are exhibiting buyer's remorse as the shine rapidly fades from Ted Strickland's once-promising campaign against Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman

The 75-year-old former governor had high name recognition and strong support from labor, earning him the backing of Democratic party leaders in his primary against 31-year-old Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld. Months later, Portman, 60, is comfortably ahead in opinion polls, and national Democrats are pulling millions of dollars in planned pro-Strickland ad spending out of the state. 

Strickland's cash-strapped campaign has been forced to cancel ads in several cities, focusing remaining resources in the critical Cleveland and Columbus markets. 

"Stevie Wonder could have seen this coming," said former Democratic congressman Dennis Eckart, who was critical of the state party taking sides in the Senate primary. 

"There was so much money headed into Ohio, they were just going to re-run Ted's failed re-election campaign against him. They didn't even have to start from scratch; they just had to remind people," Eckart said. 

Democrats' diminishing hopes and investment in Ohio come as their prospects may be dimming nationally of retaking the Senate, which would require picking up five seats, or four if they keep the White House, since the vice president casts tie-breaking votes...

Many Democrats across Ohio are cringing as Strickland's prospects fade, wondering whether members of the Ohio Democratic Party's old guard who backed a different candidate might have been right. A group from the 1980s era of popular former Gov. Richard Celeste, including Celeste himself, endorsed Sittenfeld. 

"P.G. would have been a fresh face. He was a generational choice, he could have drawn some contrasts, and he could have really hammered the 'lifetime politician' issue with more believability," Eckart said. 

Strickland detractors accurately predicted what came next: Republicans revisited the 2010 campaign Strickland lost to Republican John Kasich — the recessionary job losses, the tax increases and the draining of the rainy-day fund...  

"Nothing that I and other people said took a genius to figure out," said Gerald Austin, a Cleveland-area Democratic strategist who supported Sittenfeld. "The campaign would be about Ted Strickland being governor. And they basically had no money or very little money to fight back.

Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper insists Strickland was and remains the party's strongest weapon against Portman... 

Besides Strickland's sluggish fundraising — $6.6 million raised, compared to Portman's $14 million — he's made a couple of verbal gaffes, lost several key endorsements and suffered from a perception that he lacks Portman's pace and passion. 

Eckart conceded, too, that Portman's campaign is "one of the best campaigns in the country right now," having succeeded in portraying Portman as "more human than Mother Teresa" for his work against opiate addiction. 

Austin believes Strickland's lagging position may hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the battleground state, as those opting to support Portman decide whether to split their tickets or stick with Republican nominee Donald Trump...

LINK: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/article103638702.html

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