Washington (CNN) – CNN projects Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown has won a second term by defeating Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel in Ohio, a state that was closely tied to the presidential race.
Primarily because of those frequent trips from President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the contest between Brown and Mandel played out in Ohio against the backdrop of the presidential election.
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Fueled by super PAC money and advertising, the race got nasty at times. In total, $67 million dollars was spent on the election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Much of that – $34 million – was sent by outside advocacy groups.
During their third debates, Mandel and Brown battled over the auto bailout, abortion and each other's record. The testiness of the race spilled out on the debate stage – at one debate Mandel told Brown to "calm down" and called him "a liar."
Brown was first elected to the Senate in 2006, during a wave of Democratic victories in the Senate and House. Throughout most of the 2012 race, especially in September and October, Brown led Mandel by around 10% points in independent polling.
There was far too much money involved in that race. It is nice to see that the money was wasted.
Made me do a happy dance – WTG
Congratulations Senator Brown. You are, by far, the best representative for the people of Ohio. The majority of us "Buckeyes" remembered how you helped in the fight to save our auto industry and your bi-partisan effort to make travel buses safer (after the tragic loss of life of Ohio college students). Looking forward to six more years!