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Space Tops $2 Million, Lashes Out at GOP Internal Poll

A day after his opponent released internal polling suggesting that the race for Ohio’s 18th district is a dead heat, Rep. Zack Space (D) is firing back.

The Space campaign announced that the Congressman has exceeded the $2 million fundraising mark for the cycle. Space showed more than $1.2 million in cash on hand at the end of June, far outpacing state Sen. Bob Gibbs (R), who reported just less than $210,000 in the bank.

“We’re in a very strong position financially,” Space spokesman Andrew Ricci said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee released internal polling on Monday showing that Space and Gibbs were tied at 43 percent based on a sample of 400 registered voters taken Aug. 3-4.

The timing of that release is worth noting: two days after the New York Times reported that Space was no longer seen by Republicans as an easy target and just days before two high-profile fundraisers are scheduled for Gibbs.

Both House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and political strategist Dick Morris are set to visit the southeastern Ohio district on Gibbs’ behalf over the next week.

“He’s going to have to convince donors that he’s still viable. The best way to do that is with an internal poll,” Ricci said. “It’s a strategic move by the NRCC after the New York Times basically said that Zack Space wasn’t vulnerable any more.”

As for Morris and Boehner traveling to help Gibbs? “He’s proving that he’s the candidate of Washington insiders,” Ricci said.

NRCC spokesman Tory Mazzola offered this response: “Zack Space continues to rely on Speaker Pelosi and Washington special interests to pad his campaign coffers. Is he planning to use this cash to pay for more dishonest smear attacks? He’s neck-and-neck in the polls because he fails to understand that eastern Ohioans don’t want a party-line rubber stamp. He’s more interested in helping a San Francisco liberal than with standing up for his constituents.”

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