Sherrod Brown is in good shape, despite the 20 million dollars in attack ads conservatives threw at him:
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, holds a double-digit lead in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released early Thursday.
Brown has 52 percent to GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel’s 41 percent in the survey, while 6 percent of voters remain undecided. Their previous poll, conducted in late Sept. and early Oct., had Brown at 50 percent to Mandel’s 41 percent.
A number of recent live-caller polls have showed Brown leading by double digits, though two GOP-leaning automated polls showed a closer race after last week’s presidential debate.
The poll also shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney 51 percent to 45 percent.
Brown’s opponent is Josh Mandel, the Ohio Treasurer. Mandel has had a rough go of it lately. He lied about an encounter he had with a “campaign tracker” in an elevator, which was problematic, because a reporter who was interviewing him was in the elevator and witnessed the whole thing:
The Republican nominee for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, has reiterated claims that a tracker for a Democratic super PAC made “physical contact” with him during an exchange in an elevator last Friday.
Mandel, who is challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), told WTOV Channel 9 in Steubenville Wednesday night, that 24-year-old Tyler Hansen, a tracker for American Bridge 21st Century, made contact with him first in an incident where Mandel is seen grabbing Hansen’s camera. In a video of the incident captured by Hansen’s camerathen released on YouTube, Mandel is heard calling Hansen’s first name when the tracker enters the elevator. Mandel grabs the camera before Hansen asks him to stop, then makes small talk with Hansen and others in the elevator.
The encounter was witnessed by Joe Vardon, a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, and an unidentified woman on the elevator. Vardon has written accounts of it, saying that Mandel grabbed the camera without Hansen touching him.
Josh Mandel has become a Saturday Night Live skit. Asked whether he would abandon statements deemed “pants on fire” by the respected Politifact column of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate has said he will not — without a trace of embarrassment, even telling reporters at one point that it is their job to “do the grunt work.”
Mandel trades in hyperbole, hurling such words as “ridiculous,” “outrageous,” “radical,” “over our dead bodies.” During a session with reporters and editors of the Columbus Dispatch last week, the state treasurer (for all of 20 months) labeled his opponent “un-American,” and Sherrod Brown, the Democratic incumbent, was sitting in the room. Will Ferrell would be hard pressed to play the part better. The dismaying thing is, Mandel is serious.
Brown has a big campaign. I was told early on that he would have an on-the-ground presence in 66 out of 88 counties, but he has an organizer in this county and this county is 60/40 Republican.
It’s my sense that Obama and Brown are a good fit at the top of the ticket. They have very dedicated (but somewhat different) groups of “base” supporters. Sherrod Brown is a favorite of labor, for example, and I think that will help both Brown and Obama everywhere in Ohio.
Brown and Mandel will debate on October 15th, and I will put a live-blog post up.