Ohio Senate Race Already Drawing Millions in Early Spending

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has been targeted by one of the nation’s heaviest early barrages of outside spending as he seeks to unseat U.S. Sen. Rob Portman next year, and groups that support Strickland’s victory are also taking aim at Portman in some big-money ad buys.

An analysis of Federal Election Commission data by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics found that independent groups had spent about $2.3 million either against Strickland or for Portman as of Nov. 16. It was part of five-fold increase in dark money that had rolled into the 2016 race as of Sept. 21 compared to the same point in 2014.

Democrats add another $3.9 million in announced outside-spending to what’s planned against Strickland. Portman’s campaign estimates $1.3 million has been spent against him.