By Jon Cassidy
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) should be able to count on at least $5.1 million in broadcast television ad buys from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to a report in The Hill Tuesday morning, which cited a Republican operative tracking buys.
The buys could be cancelled if the race looks uncompetitive by fall, or they could increase, as the number doesn’t include cable.
State Treasurer Josh Mandel has cut Brown’s lead in the race from 16 points last fall to just 5 points by last month, according to a Rasmussen poll conducted May 29.
Brown has faced a barrage of attack ads – estimated at upwards of $7 million so far – from business groups and conservative interests, as well as a few from his opponent.
Brown told Salon earlier this month that “it’s clearly had a corrosive impact on my standing. … In that way it’s hurt us.”
But he has funds to fight back with. Brown has raised around $10.3 million since 2007, plus he has party support, and a little over a $1 million in third-party ad support so far.
The Hill’s take is that “while the race is not yet considered a top GOP target, there have been increasing signs that both campaigns expect a tough fight in the state. Mandel’s campaign has been a bit shaky out of the box, but heavy spending from GOP-aligned outside groups has buoyed his numbers and weakened Brown.”
Mandel has had to contend with continual insults from PolitFact Ohio, which issues broad, unsubstantiated, erroneous opinions under the guise of fact-checking. Those opinions are then recycled by other media, which treat them as facts, making them part of the narrative. The summary then becomes that “Mandel’s campaign has been a bit shaky out of the box,” as The Hill put it.
The DSCC’s ad reservation is for the Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown media markets.