Strickland lags behind Portman in fundraising
© Getty Images
 
Ted Strickland, Democratic candidate for Senate in Ohio, raised nearly $1.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing in about half of Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHouse passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams House passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump MORE’s (R-Ohio) quarterly haul. 
 
Strickland's haul brings his 2015 total to nearly $3.8 million raised, falling short to the Republican senator’s fundraising in what is considered one of the most competitive races of this cycle.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Portman brought in nearly $2.1 million in the fourth quarter, raising a total of $9.8 million in 2015. 
 
Portman also has a significant cash advantage with more than $12 million cash on hand, compared to Strickland’s $2 million cash on hand.
 
Strickland’s campaign manager Rebecca Pearcey touted the former Ohio governor’s endorsements, including former President Bill Clinton.
 
“Ohioans are backing former Governor Strickland because he’ll always put working families first in the U.S. Senate, and they’re fed up with D.C. insiders like Senator Portman who push the interests of the Washington establishment and the wealthy special interests they serve while the middle class pays the price,” Pearcey said in a press release. 
 
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges blasted Strickland’s haul in a statement.
 
"Ted Strickland has failed to meet his own goals once again with another subpar fundraising period," he said. 
 
"Ohio remembers what life was like under Ted Strickland, and there's nothing he can do or say to explain away his terrible record in Congress and as governor of Ohio."
 
Strickland is the Democratic establishment’s favorite in the primary. He is backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and a number of high-profile Ohio lawmakers.
 
Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld is also running for the Democratic nomination, but has been lagging in fundraising. Sittenfeld raised about $235,000 in the fourth quarter, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, bringing his 2015 total to nearly $1.5 million raised.
 
Sittenfeld’s super PAC, New Leadership in Ohio, raised more than $700,000, but the city councilman faces an uphill battle in the Democratic primary against Strickland.
 
Despite Portman’s huge cash advantage, late 2015 polling in Ohio showed a tight race, with Strickland ahead by a razor-thin margin. 
 
Democrats will need to net five Senate seats in 2016 to regain majority in the upper chamber. Democrats are considered to have an advantage, having to defend only 10 seats while the GOP is defending 24.