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“I think this is going to be a very negative campaign,” Mr. Beck predicts of the Senate contest, which he said also will be well-financed. “I think it’s going to be a very hotly contested race that is probably going to turn in the end on how well Obama does in Ohio.”

Mr. Beck said Mr. Mandel has spent a lot of money attacking Mr. Brown as a liberal who is out of step with Ohio, while Mr. Brown has noted that Mr. Mandel has served only one year of his term as state treasurer, suggesting that he is too politically ambitious.

“I think Sherrod Brown is going to win this race,” Mr. Beck said. “Sherrod Brown has been around for a while. He also has been able to position himself as a candidate who sticks up for common people in Ohio in a way Mandel is going to have a hard time demonstrating.”