This is one of the seats that Republicans pasted a big ol' target on, long ago. Defeating Sherrod Brown was a major goal for them, not just in trying to find their way to a Republican majority in the Senate, but to defeat one of the Left's most stalwart defenders.
Their candidate is Josh Mandel, a 34-year-old "rising star" in the GOP, who has called Sherrod Brown's voting record "un-American." Those two clues let you know he's another tea party puppet of the GOP. So far, he hasn't made much of a dent in the polling, unable to close a seven-to-eight point deficit. But, according to the latest poll from PPP, they can and have been eroding Brown's popularity. They see "voters souring on Brown." In their August survey, Brown had a 41-37 job approval/disapproval rating. This month it's 42-44.
That's likely because the Right is making this the most expensive Senate race in the country, pouring millions and millions in dark money into the state to destroy Brown. Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, the Chamber of Commerce, and other shrouded groups have spent a combined $15 million against Brown as of late August. They vow to spend at least another $6.7 million. One of those shrouded groups, the Government Integrity Fund, has spent $1 million of that, and has been under scrutiny because of the close ties the organization has to the Mandel campaign, a legal no-no largely flouted by the Right.
[T]he Government Integrity Fund is run by a state lobbyist who in turn employs a former top Mandel staffer.Typical. Brown's staying afloat despite this onslaught, but it's not going to end. He's going to remain a top target of the GOP because Ohio is a swing state and because they want to take down a true liberal. It would be a huge coup for the Right to take down one of the Left's strongest champions. That's a coup we have to prevent.
The lobbyist, Tom Norris, is listed as the Government Integrity Fund's chairman and treasurer. Norris owns an Ohio lobbying firm, Cap Square Solutions, and last year hired a top Mandel aide, Joel Riter, to work at the firm.