Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

The Clash in Ohio: A Battle Over Senate

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Taking a cue from the currently nail bitingly close Presidential election, election battles of the same nature rage across the country. One unique battle that sticks out the Ohio Senate race between incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and Treasuer Josh Mandel.

Sherrod Brown, who has been an Ohio Senator since 2007, is relatively well liked and has a good track record with Ohioans.This year he is challanged by young Ohio Treasurer Madel, who has waged an unrelenting campaign against Brown.

Though he was expected to fizzle out early in the race, Madel has done the opposite, and is “defying political gravity”, surging ahead in his bid for Senate, narrowing the margin between the two.

Madel has maintained his momentum due to the large amount of donations his campaign have received from Republican benefactors including the SuperPACs Crossroads GPS, who have donated over $1 million to Mandel.

Politico explains that no other senator has recieved a greater amount of third-party money this cycle and Mandel’s more than 4-to-1 advantage in outside help has made the race more competitive.

“I think the outside spending on the conservative side has been very effective and has helped tightened the race. They see he can be beaten” Mandel recently said.

Aiming for a victory, Mandel has used these donations to his advantage, investing millions in attack ad’s against Brown. Though he is outmatched in financial donations, Brown has responded to the attacks with a slew of aids himself.

One ad, sponsored by Mandel’s largest supporter Crossroads GPS, attacks Brown record on his stance on  jobs, healthcare and his voting record. Another add attacks his stance on energy.

Brown responded with a series of ads attacking Mandel’s suitability for the job and his trustworthiness.

So the question remains, have these adds effecitvely changed Ohio voters minds, positioning Mandel to become Ohio’s first republican senator since 2007?

Though the race is tight, recent Rasmussen polls show Brown has a 8 point lead over Mandel. The bitter philosophical divide between two men was obvious during the Senate debate on October 25, where neither man hesitated to attack the other.  Mandel’s accusations of Brown being dishonest with Ohioans struck a nerve, and in the weeks following attacks were made on Mandel’s credibility by the other camp.

So who will win?

Well if recent polls are any indication, Brown will win and continue to be Ohio’s Democratic Senator. So what does that mean for Mandel? Looking at his meteoric rise support he garnered during his bit for Senate, Mandel is likely to stay in politics and will most likely run for Senate again.

He may be down, but Mandel is most certainly not out.


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