Ohio’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race is the costliest one in the nation, according to a new analysis by the nonprofit and nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation.
The group said at least $11.5 million has been spent in the race so far involving Republican incumbent Rob Portman and Democratic challenger and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
Some of that spending occurred during the Democratic primary in which Mr. Strickland defeated challenger P.G. Sittenfeld of Cincinnati.
The $11.5 million figure includes spending by the campaigns, which are rigorously monitored by the Federal Elections Commission, and spending by outside groups — which are not regulated as closely.
According to Sunlight, pro-Portman and anti-Strickland super PACs and federal PACs have spent more than $2.6 million to help Mr. Portman keep his Senate seat. The biggest outside spender so far in Ohio is Freedom Partners, with a bill so far of $1.8 million to oppose Mr. Strickland. One of the big donors to Freedom Partners is wealthy businessman Charles Koch, who gave $3 million.
Freedom Partners’ ad featured a former employee of the shipping firm DHL that closed during the Strickland administration, causing the loss of thousands of jobs in Wilmington, Ohio.
The group Senate Majority PAC has spent about $640,000 on an Ohio ad campaign to support Mr. Strickland. The group, affiliated with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, has been assailing Mr. Portman for his longtime support of international trade agreements blamed for Ohio’s loss of manufacturing jobs.
One recent ad seen on television says of Mr. Portman, he’s “helped create jobs .... a long way from Ohio,” such as in Mexico and Asia.