October 14, 2015

Ted Strickland’s Terrible Week (And It’s Only Wednesday)

Things aren’t going well for Ohio’s Ted Strickland so far this week. First, he had to trot out extremely underwhelming fundraising numbers…again. Even the left-leaning Daily Kos admitted that Strickland is falling short:

Democrat Ted Strickland has unveiled his quarterly fundraising total, and his haul remains unimpressive. Strickland brought in just $971,000, far less than GOP Sen. Rob Portman’s $2 million total during the same period. Portman holds an even scarier $11 million to $1.5 million cash on hand edge…

…It doesn’t help that Strickland is falling behind the benchmarks his own team set in late 2014 as he was mulling the race. Strickland hoped to raise a total of $4.5 million during the first six months of the year: He raised about $1,670,000 during that period, and this quarterly report demonstrates that he hasn’t been making up for lost time.

Ouch. The last thing Strickland needs with his campaign facing anemic resources is a primary opponent on the rise, but that’s just what he’s got in P.G. Sittenfeld. The Cincinnati city councillor is being bolstered by a new Super PAC that pulled in an impressive fundraising haul in just two weeks, as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

If it takes money to get out a political message, then PG Sittenfeld, a youthful and long-shot candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, just got some help.

New Leadership for Ohio, a new independent political group, or super PAC that can raise and spend money separately from a political candidate, says it took in $370,000 in its first two weeks, and expects to raise a lot more.

And Sittenfeld his first television ads during Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, which is sure to raise his name ID among primary voters, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer:

P.G. Sittenfeld will launch a mini-advertising blitz Tuesday, airing the first TV spot of Ohio’s 2016 Senate race in five key media markets during the Democratic presidential debate…

…Looking into the camera, the 31-year-old Sittenfeld says he’s running for the Senate to offer a “new agenda. … One that works to reduce inequality, cut student loan debt, expand retirement security and protect our environment.”

Also troubling for Strickland is the fact that Sittenfeld’s positions on issues like gun control, climate change and the Keystone pipeline are more in line with the primary electorate, and that Sittenfeld is seizing on the national dynamics roiling the Democratic Party to challenge Strickland to debates:

Strickland has refused to commit to any debates, making him vulnerable to the same type of attacks that has the national Democratic base in full-blown revolt against the Party establishment.