OHIO
     Nov. 8, 2016 U.S. Senate

Gov.
Sen.3
Sen.1
2018
x

x
2017



2016



2015



2014



2013



2012



2011



2010



2009



2008



2007



2006



2005



2004



2003



2002



2001



2000



1999



1998



1997



1996



1995



1994



1993



1992



1991



1990



1989




+Rob Portman (R) i
3,118,567 58.03%
Ted Strickland (D)
1,996,908 37.16%
Tom Connors (I)
93,041 1.73%
Joe DeMare (G)
88,246
1.64%
Scott Rupert (I)
77,291
1.44%
w/in
111


5,374,164

Total registration:  7,861,025.  Total voters: 5,607,641
Plurality 1,121,659 votes (20.87 percentage points).

 OH Secretary of State



Notes:  The Senate campaign in Ohio pitting former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) against Sen. Rob Portman (R) was initially seen as one of the marquee races of 2016.  However, Portman ran what the Cook Political Report called easily "the best campaign of the cycle" and won a second term by a very comfortable margin. 


In a case study on its website, FP1 Strategies, the media consulting firm for Portman, describes four objectives it set out for his campaign: "Showcase Senator Portman’s Results/Define Ted Strickland as the D.C. Insider; Expose Strickland’s Failed Record as Governor; Build a Firewall Among Independent Women; Take Away the China Issue/Win on Jobs." 
The formula proved effective.  And while both candidates had long political records, the Portman campaign's "Retread Ted" label seemed to hit home.  Strickland had been out of office since Jan. 2011 after losing his re-election bid to John Kasich.  (Evan Bayh, another top Democratic prospect, also suffered from the retread effect in his race in Indiana).  By the Labor Day 2016, the tradition start of the Fall campaign, Strickland was in a very precarious position, to the point where the DSCC and Senate Majority PAC were cancelling ad buys in support of his campaign.

Like Republican candidates around the country, Portman faced the challenge of  how to respond to Trump's various controversies.  On Oct. 8 following release of the Access Hollywood tapes Portman issued a statement, “While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him. I continue to believe our country cannot afford a Hillary Clinton presidency. I will be voting for Mike Pence for President."

Portman and Strickland participated in three televised debates: the first in WFMJ  studios in Youngstown on Oct. 14 for one hour (>), the second in WBNS studios in Columbus on Oct. 17 for one hour (>), and the final one from the Idea Center sponsored by the City Club of Cleveland and Scripps ABC in Cleveland on Oct. 20 (>).

Although the Ohio Senate campaign ended up not being as competitive as expected, it was still the sixth most expensive Senate race of the cycle according to the Center for Responsive Politics, tallying $92.1 million in spending, $38.4 million by the campaigns and $53.7 million by outside groups (+).  According to the FEC, for 2015-16 the Portman campaign reported disbursements of $25.3 million compared to $10.6 million for the Strickland campaign (+). 

Portman achieved a broad victory, winning by 1.1 million votes (20.87 percentage points) and carrying 84 of 88 counties.  By contrast, Trump defeated Clinton by 446,841 votes (8.13 percentage points), carrying 80 of 88 counties.

See:
Elana Johnson.  "Rob Portman's Perfect Campaign," National Review, Oct. 10, 2016.

"Case Studies: Rob Portman for Senate," FP1 Strategies.
https://fp1strategies.com/Case-Studies/rob-portman-senate/

Deirdre Shesgreen.  "How Democrats lost Ohio's marquee Senate race," The Enquirer, Nov. 9, 2016.



Campaign Managers:
Rob Portman:  Corry Bliss
Campaign manager for the last two months on Sen. Pat Roberts' re-election in Kansas in Fall 2014.  Campaign manager on Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel's U.S Senate primary campaign in 2014.  Campaign manager on Linda McMahon's second run for U.S. Senate in Connecticut in 2012.  Campaign manager on Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie's run for governor of Vermont in 2010.  Campaign manager on U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake's (VA) unsuccessful re-election in 2008.  J.D. from CUNY School of Law, 2006; undergraduate degree from Boston University.

Ted Strickland:  Rebecca Pearcey
Northeast regional political director at the DCCC in the 2014 cycle.  Campaign manager on John Gregg's 2012 campaign for governor of Indiana.  HIV counseling and testing campaign director at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, 2010-11.  Penn National Gaming, 2009-10.  Ohio political director at Obama for America, Fall 2008.  Political director at the Ohio Democratic Party, March 2007-June 2008.  Field director on Strickland for Governor, 2006.  Deputy field director at Wal-Mart Watch, Jan. 2005-March 2006.  Canvass director for ACT Florida, 2004.  Regional field director on Rep. Dick Gephardt's Iowa caucus campaign in 2003-4.  Administrative aide to Oregon State Sen. Margaret Carter.  Graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in liberal studies, 2000 after transferring from Chemeketa Community College.





 


ADVERTISEMENT