COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — 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 this year against 31-year-old Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.
Months later, the 60-year-old Portman is comfortably ahead in opinion polls, and national Democrats are pulling millions of dollars in planned advertising. Strickland’s cash-strapped campaign also has canceled some ads to focus on critical markets.
Detractors now wonder whether old-guard Democrats who supported Sittenfeld might have been right. Republicans are running the same campaign themes that led to Strickland’s 2010 defeat.
Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper says Strickland remains the party’s strongest candidate against Portman.