Portman tries to keep Ohio US Senate seat on Republican side

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Republican incumbent who kept his Democratic opponent on the defensive and his party’s presidential nominee at a distance is trying to clinch a second term in an Ohio U.S. Senate race in which he once looked vulnerable.

Democrats liked their chances of gaining a Senate seat when former Gov. Ted Strickland took on Rob Portman. But Portman ran a savvy and heavily funded campaign. Polls have shown him pulling away in the campaign’s final weeks.

Portman’s campaign branded Strickland “Retread Ted” and highlighted Ohio’s economic struggles during Strickland’s governorship, which came during the nation’s Great Recession.

Portman didn’t campaign with Donald Trump and withdrew his endorsement when a 2005 tape of him making lewd comments about kissing and groping women surfaced weeks ago.