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Despite Outside Cash, Mandel Drifts in Poll

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June 30, 2012

Ohio

By Amanda Carey

COLUMBUS, Ohio: According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, the gap between Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) and incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) is getting wider. In the poll, released on June 27, Brown came in 16 points ahead of Mandel at 50 to 34 percent. Thirty-four percent of the pol's respondents, however, identified as being Democrat, compared to the 26 percent who identified as Republican. Still, the news isn't good for Mandel, who in a previous poll released on May 10, was only six points behind Brown.[1]

Mandel's slip in the polls comes despite the massive amount of cash outside groups have spent to support Mandel's campaign against Brown. As of mid-June, outside groups had spent a total of $8.3 million against Brown, who has been hit with a barrage of negative ads. The conservative group Crossroads GPS, for example, recently spent $800,000 on an ad attacking Brown for voting with President Obama "95 percent of the time." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has invested $3.8 million in the race, and the 60+ Association has spent more than $2.3 million. When asked about the outside money, Mandel said in a recent interview with Politico that, "I think the outside spending on the conservative side has been very effective and has helped tighten the race...They see he can be beaten." Brown, however, said the millions in outside support has kept an otherwise weak candidate afloat. "This race wouldn't be close at all if it wasn't for the $8 million," said Brown.[2]

Mandel has also been hit with a string of negative press in his home state. An extensive report in the Dayton Daily News, for example, revealed that Mandel hired relatively inexperienced staffers from his 2010 campaign and gave them high-ranking positions in the Ohio state Treasurer's office.[3] He was also forced to return about $105,000 in campaign contributions after the FBI launched an investigation into a collection of large donations made from employees of an Ohio-based marketing firm headed by a major GOP supporter.[4] Brown is also facing scrutiny for being years behind on paying property taxes on a condo he owns in Washington, D.C.[5]

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