NPR's Peter Overby looks at the relationship between campaign ad money and victory in Senate races, or lack thereof. The Brown-Mandel race in Ohio is one of the major examples in which major ad expenditures did not end in victory.
The battle for the Senate was a proving ground for the new Citizens United politics. Outside groups unleashed heavily funded barrages of attack ads meant to help elect candidates while letting them keep their distance from the nastiness. In Ohio and Virginia, it failed in rather dramatic ways.