Two-term Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, undone by state and national scandals and a sour state economy, was trounced Tuesday by Rep. Sherrod Brown in a race long ago abandoned by the GOP.

The win pulled the Democrats closer to the six-seat pickup they needed to take over the Senate.

Brown, a seven-term U.S. representative, won in part because the national GOP abandoned DeWine in October to spend its resources on closer races, such as those in Michigan and Maryland.

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DeWine, who scored impressive wins in 1994 and 2000, was hurt by his backing of the war in Iraq and was tarred by scandals he had little to do with in Washington and Columbus. Last week, his fellow Republican, Sen. George Voinovich begged voters to back his colleague.

Voters' strong opposition to the war and President Bush were a key to Brown's victory, an Associated Press exit poll found. Brown did extremely well among those who disapproved of the war.

Brown also got more than half the votes from those who believe neither party has high ethical standards. The scandals involving Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Ohio Gov. Bob Taft's administration hit Ohio especially hard and cost former U.S. Rep. Bob Ney his seat when he pleaded guilty to accepting gifts for favors to Abramoff clients.

Brown picked up more votes than expected in conservative parts of the state, including DeWine's home area of southwest Ohio.

In a speech beamed to supporters at Democratic headquarters in Columbus, Brown thanked them for getting out the vote.

"This has been a terrific experience today. So many have stood up for the middle class and together we're going to turn around Ohio."

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