Outside money has played a central role in this race, with the Brown campaign tallying $40 million spent by GOP outside groups, including the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove-backed Crossroads GPS, to unseat the first-term incumbent.
Republican attacks on Brown attempted to tie him to some of President Obama's more unpopular policies, like healthcare reform and the federal stimulus. But Brown has run close to Obama, touting his support for the auto bailout, which Mandel opposes and which is widely believed to have buoyed Obama's support among blue-collar workers in the state.
Though Mandel has been a strong fundraiser, bringing in over $17 million for his bid, he was never able to gain much ground over Brown.
Democrats accused Mandel of shirking his duties as state treasurer, noting that he missed nearly all of the meetings of a board he chairs. And the Brown campaign called Mandel a “serial liar” due to the relatively high number of “Pants on Fire” ratings he’s been given by the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s PolitiFact Ohio.
Most polls of the race showed Brown ahead by varying margins, but the tightness of the presidential race in Ohio — which most pundits agree is a must-win state for the presidential candidates — kept the outcome uncertain.
At the time of this posting, the presidential race in the state remains close.