The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has postponed running a new barrage of ads in the Ohio Senate race through its independent expenditure arm, according to a report from the Washington Post.
According to the Post, the DSCC had originally planned to run a new ad campaign during the week of Sept. 13. Now, that roughly $500,000 effort is slated to begin a week later.
While the ad buy delay could merely be a delay, it fuels speculation that Strickland has proven to be far less competitive than the party had hoped in the race against incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). As the Washington Post notes, the DSCC is still helping Strickland at the moment as it “is currently funding a Strickland campaign ad through its limited coordinated-spending accounts that seeks to tie Portman to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.”
But, now is the time in the campaign where the DSCC’s independent expenditure arm will have to start making hard decisions about where it’s going to be looking for its majority. The Democrats need to pick up five seats to retake the majority (or four, if there’s a Democratic vice president to break tie votes). This could be one of the early signs that the Democrats are no longer looking to Ohio to be one of its top pickups.
Strickland’s campaign spokesman David Bergstein told the Post that “the DSCC is spending the same amount of money they were slated to spend, it’s just being used to help fund our existing ad instead of through an independent expenditure.”
TPM’s PollTracker Average shows Portman is leading Strickland by 13 points at the moment.