Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) speaks at a campaign event for President Obama… (Tony Dejak / Associated…)
WASHINGTON – Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown was reelected despite a late narrowing in the polls in Ohio, among the foremost battlegrounds in the presidential election.
Brown, one of the more liberal members of the Senate, fended off a challenge from Josh Mandel, the state treasurer, in one of the nation’s pricier Senate races.
The race was called Tuesday for Brown by NBC News and the Associated Press.
Mandel’s efforts to cut the state’s budget as treasurer appealed to some voters, but Democrats targeted him as inexperienced despite his swift climb in state politics. Mandel first ran for a City Council seat a decade ago at age 26.
PHOTOS: America goes to the polls
Earlier this election season, Brown was considered among the more endangered of first-term senators seeking reelection, those Democrats elected in 2006 who gave the party the majority. But he kept an early lead over Mandel in the polls until the final weeks, when the race tightened.
Money poured in from the Crossroads groups affiliated with Republican Karl Rove, as well Democrats and their allies, totaling more than $35 million in outside spending.
Brown has long championed domestic manufacturing and the auto industry, and in the final days of the campaign he highlighted his record by convening a caravan of Chevy Cruzes and Jeeps on a 2,100-mile Buckeye State campaign tour.
Follow Politics Now on Twitter and Facebook