November 2, 2006

Padgett loses support as poll favors Space

Ohio Headlines
Ohio counties begin early scanning of absentee ballots
States try cable barriers, distance dots to make roads safer
Report: Wireless 911 lagging in Ohio
Ohio State trying to cut down on glass beer bottles
In Ohio, Christian Left at Work
DeWine, Brown winding up

Yesterday's Headlines
Poll shows Strickland leading Blackwell
Poll: Democrats leading in most Ohio statewide races
Blackwell, Strickland say they would use Statehouse more
State says bar owners must remove certain video games
Authorities deciding how to divvy up Parsons reward money
Padgett, Space campaign in race to replace Ney
State urges caution to keep early votes secret
U.S. Senate candidates hunt for supporters
Ohio party leaders trying to get supporters out to vote




NEW PHILADELPHIA With less than a week of campaigning left, Republican strategists are pulling resources out of Ohio's 18th congressional district race, as a new poll shows Democrat Zack Space with a wide lead over Republican Joy Padgett.

Both candidates made a pitch for support from military veterans on Wednesday, amid Republican attempts to capitalize on comments by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., which appeared to disparage the intelligence of troops in Iraq.

An independent Zogby/Reuters poll released Wednesday showed Space with a 53 percent to 33 percent lead over Padgett, a state senator from Coshocton who won a special election seven weeks ago to replace convicted Republican Rep. Bob Ney on the ballot. Also Wednesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee acknowledged it stopped running television ads supporting Padgett in the expensive Cleveland advertising market this week. But committee spokesman Ed Patru denied the GOP organization has given up on Padgett.

"Not by any means," he said, adding that the committee is still running at least one ad for Padgett in a less costly advertising market that reaches parts of the sprawling district.

The race is one of the most watched in the nation and could be critical in determining which party controls Congress. Both parties have poured millions of dollars into the fight.

Both candidates reacted to remarks made earlier in the week by Kerry, who told an audience of college students in California that if they studied hard, they could do well, but if they did not, "you get stuck in Iraq."

"I don't know if I can put into words how offended I am for our troops," Padgett said.

During a campaign stop in Zanesville, Space called the remarks "out of line, inappropriate, probably taken out of context.

" ... I'm obviously concerned about our troops. I'm very concerned about putting them in harm's way," he said.