In the Ohio Senate contest between Rob Portman and Lee Fisher, an Ipsos pollster declares that “Portman is really solidifying his lead — it’s starting to look insurmountable…. Fisher hasn’t been able to raise his profile enough to make a dent.”
Why hasn’t Lee Fisher been able to raise his profile? Consider the gap in “independent expenditures,” money gathered from undisclosed donors and spent in unlimited amounts since this Spring, when corporations were given free rein to throw their economic weight around in elections.
To date, Democrat candidate Lee Fisher has had $9,011 independently spent in support of his candidacy by “Working America,” a front group for Democratic candidates.
On the other hand, Republican candidate Rob Portman has had $455,948 independently spent in support of his candidacy as of today. Portman has had small amounts spent on his behalf in endorsements by the National Right to Life Committee and the National Rifle Association, and a whopping $454,342 spent on his behalf by just one group, “American Crossroads.” “American Crossroads” is a front group founded by Karl Rove and headed by two former Chairs of the Republican National Committee. In addition to its $454,342 spending to air messages on behalf of Rob Portman, “American Crossroads” has spent another $278,984 to air advertisements trashing Lee Fisher.
Let’s add it up: that’s $734,932 in independent expenditures aligned with the Portman campaign and $9,011 in independent expenditures aligned with the Fisher campaign. Why, oh why, can’t Lee Fisher “raise his profile?” There’s your answer.