Politico Reports: Ohio Republican Josh Mandel raised $4.5 million during the third quarter, his biggest tally of the cycle. The gigantic haul comes on the heels of recent polling showing his challenge to first-term Democrat Sherrod Brown picking up steam. Granted, the public polling in the Buckeye State has been scattershot, but even Brown’s campaign acknowledges it’s a low single-digit contest. Mandel is benefiting from Mitt Romney’s rise and an avalanche of outside money — which has now reached $21 million — that’s pummeling Brown. The 34-year-old Iraq veteran’s candidacy is becoming more important to national Republicans as their map to capturing Senate control looks increasingly ominous. With early voting underway in Ohio, the day-to-day campaign carries extra weight.
H/T Dan Treitman