Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanLawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine Biden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation MORE’s (R-Ohio) campaign will release a trio of new digital ads on Monday in the latest round of what has been an aggressive early advertising push by the incumbent senator.
The Portman campaign ads, first viewed by The Hill, are debate-themed ahead of Thursday’s first official Republican presidential forum. They hit Portman’s Democratic challenger, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, for his economic record during his one term in the governor’s mansion.
“There’s no debate in Ohio’s race for U.S. Senate,” the narrator in one of the ads says. “Ted Strickland’s failed record is bad for Ohio. Under Ted Strickland, Ohio lost over 350,000 jobs and ranked 48th in the country in job creation.”
Each of the three ads then cuts to a classic moment from a presidential debate, such as former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreAl Gore: Emissions reductions hinge on AI measurements from space The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Biden unleashes on Trump and GOP A presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day MORE sighing or former President Ronald Reagan saying, “there you go again.”
The ads are micro-targeted based on the region where they’ll run in the Buckeye State, with one ad highlighting the closure of a plant in Wilmington and another saying that “400 jobs were lost in Cincinnati when a U.S. playing card company moved to Kentucky.”
“There’s no debate, retread Ted is bad for Ohio,” the 30-second ads conclude.
The ads are Portman’s sixth, seventh and eighth of the cycle and are part of the second round of ads in a six-figure digital buy that launched in mid-July to highlight Strickland’s record on the economy.
Money is not likely to be an issue for Portman, who raised $2.9 million in the second quarter and ended with about $10 million in cash on hand. Strickland raised only $1 million in the second quarter and has about $1.2 million on hand.
Still, Portman faces reelection in a critical swing state in a presidential election year when turnout is expected to favor Democrats. Democrats believe Portman is vulnerable and have made him a top target in 2016.
Polls show Portman and Strickland essentially knotted in a tie.