Senate Democrats have held the majority now in three consecutive Congresses (the 110th through the 112th), their longest majority in about two decades. But Republicans need a net gain of just a few seats to regain control of the chamber.
To that end, the GOP is eyeing several Democratic incumbents this year, but one in particular clearly sits atop the target list.
Crossroads GPS, the advocacy group launched by Karl Rove, is coming out with a $1.1 million ad campaign against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on Tuesday, pushing the total amount of conservative spending in that race to more than $10 million.
According to Brown campaign spokesman Justin Barasky, $1.1 million in airtime time was reserved by Crossroads GPS beginning on July 10 and continuing for 10 days in Ohio's major markets.... That raises spending by outside conservative groups in the Ohio contest to $10.5 million, more than any other senator or Senate candidate in the country has faced.
Keep in mind, conservative attack operations have already spent $10.5 million to destroy Brown, and it's only July. What's more, this doesn't even include the millions that will be spent by official Republican committees or the senator's far-right opponent, state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R).
But here's the funny part: Mandel last week "decried the outside money spent on Brown's behalf against him." The Republican complained, "There's no way in the world we're going to have as much money as they are. What we have on our side is something more important: it's called the silent majority."
And how much outside money from the left has come into Ohio on Brown's behalf? Around $2.5 million -- roughly one-fourth the total of money from the right on Mandel's behalf. In other words, $2.5 million to support a Democrat is an outrageous onslaught, but over $10 million to support a Republican is fine.
If Mandel is seriously worried about the role of outside money in the race, I suspect Brown and his team would welcome a conversation about how best to keep outside groups at bay.