Ohio’s campaign season about to get loud, pricey and competitive.
With early voting set to start in about a month, the campaigns and their allies have already been airing ads on TV, online and radio and booked time for more spots in the coming weeks.
Borrell Associates says the governor race between Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine will cost $28.7 million before it’s over. Only Florida, Maryland and California are expected to have costlier gubernatorial races, according to the analysis
The latest campaign finance reports filed Thursday show DeWine raised $2.03 million in August while Cordray pulled in $1.84 million. Democrats out-raised Republicans in each of the down ticket races, according to the reports.
DeWine’s $2.03 million includes 67 contributions of $10,000 or more while Cordray had 36 contributions of $10,000 or more.
They each received substantial in-kind contributions — $288,665 for Cordray and $250,505 for DeWine — mostly from their state political parties.
Cordray’s report doesn’t include any checks received since Aug. 31 while DeWine’s report includes $439,096 raised in the first six days of September, including a $300,000 contribution made Wednesday by the Ohio Republican Party.
Here’s a look at how the money race is going for other statewide offices:
Most candidates aren’t required to file campaign finance reports until Oct. 25 but those running for statewide posts must file monthly reports for July, August and September. The monthly reports do not include expenditures.
Borrell Associates reports that about $11 million will be spent in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Jim Renacci and $78.8 million will go toward state legislative races in Ohio.
Innovation Ohio, a liberal think tank based in Columbus, released polling data Thursday that shows Democrats trailing in the down ticket races and the contest for governor tied at 43-43 between DeWine and Cordray.
The online poll interviewed 822 likely voters between Aug. 31 and Sept. 4 and found incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown leads over Republican challenger Jim Renacci, 46-42 percent; Yost holds a 4-point lead over Dettelbach; Faber leads by 4-points over Space; LaRose has a 2-point advantage over Clyde; and Sprague leads Richardson by 3-points.
An independent poll from Quinnipiac University in June showed Cordray holding a 2-point lead. The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics rates the Ohio governor’s race a toss-up.
Voter registration closes Oct. 9 and early voting opens the next day. Election Day is Nov. 6.