Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) raised $2.3 million in the last three months for his race against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), according to his campaign, which is a huge sum for the candidate. Brown raised $1.5 million in the same period.

While it is as yet unclear how much total cash Mandel has in the bank, his haul is impressive. Other candidates, including Senate incumbents, have been touting numbers half as large this week.

Brown has sought to position himself as a populist, moderate Democrat in the purple state, but a June poll by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling indicated he is not well-known in Ohio. Brown held a wide lead over the Mandel in the poll, but much of that was due to low public knowledge about the Republican — a problem money can go a long way to fix.

Mandel's early fundraising success is crucial for him to compete in the Buckeye State. Ohio has expensive media markets in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus. Brown spent more than $10 million on his 2006 election, and with a presidential campaign raging, Mandel and Brown will both need to keep raising money at a steady clip in order to be able to get their messages out.