Final Senate Debate: Lots of jabbing but no knockout

Senate candidates square off

Senator Rob Portman's goal was to protect his comfortable, double-digit, lead in the polls. Challenger Ted Strickland was hoping for a breakthrough.

The two faced off in a City Club debate Thursday night in studio at Ideastream's downtown complex.

Many pundits think this race is all over but the shouting.

Both Republicans and Democrats have pulled out money intended for advertising.

The third and final debate was split between moderators' and audience questions.

It was a grab bag of topics illustrating the stark differences between the two candidates.

They were asked about Presidential candidates that many voters believe are both not trustworthy to be President.

Strickland criticized Portman for waiting so long to pull his endorsement of Donald Trump.

"He stood by Donald Trump when he called women pigs and worse. He stood by Donald Trump when he mocked a disabled person, " Strickland declared

Portman answered, " I have consistently spoken up when I thought something was wrong....When Hillary Clinton called half of Donald Trump"s supporters deplorable, Ted Strickland didn't stand up and has not until this day.."

Both agreed the heroin epidemic is spiraling out of control.

Portman said, "Cleveland lost one person a day last year to prescription drug and heroin overdoses. This year, we're on track to lose almost two people a day."

Portman sponsored a bill to offer Federal help for training, education and treatment of addiction.

But he at first voted against it in an omnibus bill because of other spending issues.

"He has voted against the funding communities need to fight this scourge," Strickland charged.

What about the need for racial fairness in the justice system?

Strickland referred to an old Portman bill.

"He has an introduced a measure to use stop and frisk," he said.

Portman pointed to his bill to train ex-offenders for employment.

"The Second Chance Act gives people the opportunities to get the job skills they need, " he said.

Obamacare, gun control, Syrian immigrants, and environmental regulations offered other sharp contrasts between the two candidates.

Portman left without answering reporters' questions.

Strickland stayed and vowed to keep crisscrossing Ohio until Election Day.

"More money's been spent against me than any other Senate candidate in America. ... I think I fit Ohio better than he does. But Ohioans will make that decision. Unlike Donald Trump, I'll accept the results of the election," he said.

But if polls hold up, he won't like them.


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