COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, the following story on Rob Portman’s efforts to reach out to millenials ran in the Washington Examiner. In 2015, the Portman for Senate campaign launched an aggressive volunteer grassroots program that recently surpassed 1,700,000 voter contacts through its door-to-door and phone programs. In September, the campaign launched its Students for Portman Coalition, which now has campus coordinators on over 30 college and university campuses across Ohio.
April 28, 2016
Sen. Rob Portman is ready for anything, including running for re-election on a Donald Trump-led ticket.
The Ohio Republican is looking to run his own race. Thus far, Portman's team has built a top-notch fundraising apparatus, with $13.5 million in the bank, topping opponent and former Gov. Ted Strickland by a 5-1 margin, with a particular focus on the Democrat's career as an "ineffective congressman" and his gubernatorial record, which Portman heavily contrasts with his work in Washington.
"We've constructed a campaign to be able to win regardless of who is at the top of the ticket," Portman told the Washington Examiner at his Columbus headquarters after criss-crossing Ohio for his campaign's Super Saturday. "We started this long before Trump ascended."
…One place where Portman is placing a lot of emphasis is with millennials, a group typically not warm to Republicans. At a trio of his events on Saturday, field offices in Suburban Cleveland, Dayton and Columbus were crawling with college and high school students phone-banking and setting out with walk sheets to knock on doors, with he and his campaign realizing that they could be key to a win over Strickland.
"I'm going on campus a lot. We're not going to give up on the millennials. Most Republicans have. They don't go on campus anymore. Mitt Romney never went on Ohio State's campus. Barack Obama went there four times. I think it made a big difference," Portman said noting that Obama won over 60 percent among young voters in 2008 and 2012 in Ohio. "We're not going to let that happen."
The Trump factor still lingers, with the potential for the GOP race still being in flux heading into the GOP's July convention in Cleveland still a unique possibility. But with "red meat" tending to prevail in 2016 thus far, Portman hopes his race could be one of the few centered around substance rather than political flair.
"We really want to control our own destiny," he said. "We're doing things that are really different to be able to do well regardless."
The Portman for Senate campaign was the first Senate campaign in the country to sponsor an ad on Instagram. The ad microtargeted students at The Ohio State University during OSU's first home football game. Other Instagram ads were targeted to different Ohio universities.
The Portman for Senate campaign web videos, Bad Judgment and Dangerous received over one million views.
- Collection one of former Ohio employers who moved jobs away from the state during Ted Strickland's term as governor.
- Collection two of former Ohio employers who moved jobs away from the state during Ted Strickland's term as governor.
- Collection three of former Ohio employers who moved jobs away from the state during Ted Strickland's term as governor.
- Banner ad highlighting former governor Ted Strickland’s awful record on standing up to China.