GOP Looks to Ohio for Senate Control

Wednesday, 28 Sep 2011 05:11 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Republicans are going after Ohio hard next year — or, more to the point, after Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. Defeating the liberal Brown off is considered key to GOP efforts to take control of the Senate next year, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
Republicans have fielded Ohio’s state treasurer Josh Mandel to run against Brown. At 33, Mandel looks “more like a candidate for class president,” the Globe says, “than Congress.” 
Nonetheless, Mandel has run statewide and is viewed as perhaps the party’s best bet to pick up one of the four seats needed to win a majority in the Senate, which would give Republicans control of both chambers of Congress. It doesn’t hurt that Mandel is a Marine veteran, who did two tours in Iraq.
At the moment, Brown holds a 15-point lead over Mandel. But Republicans from all over the country are sending money into his campaign, according to the Globe, at a time when Brown’s approval ratings are suffering along with the state’s economy.
The newspaper said the nonpartisan Cook Political Report still lists the Ohio race as leaning toward Brown.
But Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook report, told the Globe that Republicans are still “favorites to win a majority” more than a year out from the election.
“The numbers don’t lie,” she told the Globe, pointing to the fact that 10 out of the 23 contested seats held by Democrats or their independent allies are considered vulnerable next year, including three in the crucial swing states of Ohio, Florida and Virginia.
On the Republican side, only two out of their 10 seats up for re-election next year are considered vulnerable, one of them held by Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.

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