In Ohio, Desperate Times for Sherrod Brown

Progressive Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is reaching desperately to tie any possible scandal to opponent Josh Mandel, as recent polls show their race tightening. A week from election day, 4 of the 5 latest “News” items on Brown’s campaign website professed outrage that Mandel would not denounce Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s “reprehensible rape remarks.”

In an October 23 debate, Mourdock – who is, like Mandel, a conservative currently serving as his state’s treasurer – stated that life is “something that God intended to happen,” even when a child is conceived as a result of rape. Predictably, media leftists reacted to Mourdock’s basic pro-life statement as if he had endorsed rape, and the Brown campaign has since wielded the supposed scandal as a bludgeon.

Mandel is pro-life; Brown is decidedly pro-abortion, endorsed this year by both Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League.

That Sherrod Brown is focusing on the “war on women” meme in general and abortion in particular during the final week of the race says two things. First, it speaks to the complete lack of confidence Sherrod’s strategists have in his fringe-left record. Like President Obama, Brown is an incumbent running against a bleak economy with only base-building big government to point to.

Second, it shows that Brown’s campaign is counting on the remarkable failure of Ohio’s legacy media to inform the voting public in the socially conservative state. Although Brown professes Christianity, he has voted time and again in favor of taxpayer funding for abortion, taxpayer funding for foreign abortion providers, and even partial-birth abortion.

The same media failure explains why Brown – who voted for Obamacare only after fighting to include a public option, worships Big Labor as the soul of American society, and only disagrees with Obama when Obama tilts towards the center - is clinging to a narrow lead instead of choking in Mandel’s dust. To the extent Brown’s record is discussed at all by Ohio’s dino-media reporters, it’s to cheer the “stimulus” bill and the UAW bailout at GM & Chrysler.

Progressive lapdogs at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper, have cranked the liberal bias to 11 by operating PolitiFact Ohio as if it were Brown’s personal opposition research office. Mandel has been slammed like no other Ohio politician, but reporters covering the Senate race treat PolitiFact Ohio as objective even though “fact-checker” Tom Feran is an Obama cheerleader who hates conservatives.

Any way you cut it, an incumbent shrieking about his opponent’s failure to disown unremarkable comments from a politician in another state is not a confident incumbent.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jasonahart

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