updated 10/27/2006 9:47:09 AM ET 2006-10-27T13:47:09

The Republican National Committee said Thursday it won't run any television ads in Ohio on behalf of Sen. Mike DeWine during the final week of the campaign.

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RNC spokesman Aaron McLear said the national party organization had reserved time to run statewide TV ads next week as DeWine tries to come back against Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown, who leads in recent polls. But in the end, the RNC decided not to make the purchase, McLear said.

National Democrats said it showed the Republicans were giving up on the two-term senator.

"Even the RNC is basically saying now that Mike DeWine has a slim chance of winning this campaign," said Phil Singer, spokesman for the Democrats' national Senate campaign organization.

Control of congress
The Democrats need to win six Republican seats and hold all of theirs to take control of the Senate.

2006 key races

McLear said the RNC remains active in helping DeWine get out the vote by knocking on doors and making telephone calls, but will let the senator's campaign use its cash advantage to stay competitive on television.

According to reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, DeWine's campaign had $2.8 million on hand as of Oct. 18 while Brown's had about $837,526. The Brown campaign already bought more than $2.5 million in TV time through the election, spokeswoman Joanna Kuebler said.

DeWine campaign spokesman Brian Seitchik said the national party's decision isn't a sign of abandonment.

"The RNC has spent as much money in Ohio as they have in any other state, and they realize we have the tools to communicate effectively with voters across the state," Seitchik said.

The RNC began spending in the Ohio contest before any other Senate race, McLear said. It had spent $3.1 million on the race when it purchased its last ad against Brown on Tuesday, FEC reports show. It had $21.8 million on hand on Oct. 18 and has been spending heavily on ads in Tennessee and Missouri Senate races in the last week.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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