Early polls may not have been kind to Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, but his finances are leaving his Democratic challenger well behind.
Portman reportedly has $10 million cash on hand, compared to former Gov. Ted Strickland's $1.2 million. Portman is the National Republican Senatorial Committee's former vice chairman for finance, and raised $2.9 million during the second quarter, as the Dayton Daily News reported. Strickland raised less than half of that amount during the same time period.
Strickland can take solace in recent polling data, including a June Quinnipiac University poll which showed him with a six percentage-point lead over Portman. The Portman campaign claims Strickland's poll numbers are inflated by his name ID that he has used as an advantage at home.
Elsewhere in the Midwest, fundraising numbers from the Senate race in Wisconsin show a tight race developing. Early poll numbers have been favorable to Democratic challenger Russ Feingold, but their fundraising totals suggest the race may become a dead heat. Each campaign raised around $2 million during the second quarter. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Feingold raised slightly more money in the second quarter, but Ron Johnson has more cash on hand.
Both Ohio and Wisconsin feature Republican incumbents in states that went blue during the last presidential election. How down-ticket candidates perform in these campaigns could serve as an indicator of the GOP's chances of success in such states as the presidential election approaches.