SuperPAC cancels $3M in TV ads for Ted Strickland

A Senate Democratic political action committee is cancelling three weeks of pro-Ted Strickland commercials scheduled to begin airing Sept. 20.

It’s another sign that national Democrats are losing faith that the former Ohio governor can beat Republican Sen. Rob Portman in the race for U.S. Senate.

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Shripal Shah, a spokesman for Senate Majority PAC, confirmed Tuesday that the PAC - founded by former aides to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. - had cancelled roughly $3 million worth of ads scheduled to run in Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo.

The ads were to run Sept. 20 through Oct. 10, but weren’t running for the entirety of the time in all four markets.

Shah said that the PAC still has time reserved from Oct. 11 through Election Day.

“As we’ve said previously, we regularly adjust our spending to maximize resources and make sure we’re in the best possible position to win this November,” he said.

A Strickland spokesman said Strickland was still enthusiastic about his chances.

“There’s still a lot of race left to run, and there’s no one who knows Ohio better or is a stronger grassroots campaigner than Ted Strickland,” Strickland’s campaign spokesman David Bergstein said.

But the cancellation comes just a week after the Democratic Senatorial Senate Committee canceled ads for Strickland last week, shifting money instead to pay for ads already scheduled by the campaign.

In latest polling, Strickland was nine points behind Portman, who has benefited from better fundraising.

The news came the same day that Portman released an ad featuring Upper Arlington native and legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus.

In the commercial, which shows photos of Nicklaus throughout his career, the former Ohio State University golfer said “Rob is the real deal, he’s making a difference in standing up for American manufacturing, and he’s fighting to strengthen our military to keep us safe.”

The Nicklaus commercial is just one part of a multi-million dollar series of commercials Portman’s campaign is airing against Democratic challenger Ted Strickland.

The Portman-Strickland race originally was regarded as crucial by Democrats if they hoped to seize control of the U.S. Senate in the November election. The Republicans currently control 54 seats to 44 for the Democrats, while independents Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine caucus with the Democrats.

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