Ohio is still a central battlefield for the 2010 election. Democrats in the state and elsewhere still think they have a real shot at keeping Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in office, and President Obama is heading back to the Buckeye State this weekend to help them do it. But for one Democrat, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the fight appears to be over.
As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported yesterday, Fisher — the Democratic nominee for Senate — decided to turn what little campaign cash he has left — $100,000 — over to the state Democratic Party for general GOTV efforts.
Two weeks ago, “Fisher’s campaign for U.S. Senate was down to $308,631 in its bank account,” the paper reported. “Sums like that don’t last long and replenishing it is a challenge when a candidate lags in the polls.”
Though Fisher has promised “he is not abandoning the campaign or giving up” against former Rep. Rob Portman (R), the Columbus Dispatch reports that the move by Fisher “essentially drained his campaign treasury.”“Fisher has been written off for weeks, even by many loyal Democrats,” the paper writes.
The polls give an obvious reason for why that is. The TPM Poll Average shows Portman ahead 55.3-36.5, and the trendlines are just brutal for team Fisher:
Fisher’s decision to send the last of his warchest to the state party drew praise from other Democrats in Ohio.
“Few times in the course of a rigorous, frenetic and difficult campaign do candidates step up and do something spectacular — and unselfish,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) wrote to his supporters, according to the Plain Dealer. “Lee Fisher just did.”
Fisher is currently in the midst of a “27-hour swing to talk with workers from Columbus to Cleveland, and points in between,” that began Wednesday, the paper reports.
As Brown wrote, Fisher’s donation could help the Democrats in the gubernatorial race, where a win for Strickland would be seen as a particularly sweet turn after polls showing Strickland trailing by ten points as recently as September.
The current TPM Poll Average for that race shows Republican nominee John Kasich leading 47.7-44.6.