Trump pick JD Vance wins Ohio primaries

Bestselling author JD Vance has won Ohio’s controversial and hyper-competitive Republican Senate primaries, buoyed by Donald Trump’s endorsement in a race widely seen as an early test of the former president’s grip on his party as the midterm season kicks into high gear. .

Vance’s victory ends an exceptionally bitter and expensive primaries that at one point saw two candidates nearly at odds with each other on a debate podium. And it marks a big win for Trump, who has placed his reputation as a Republican kingmaker on his ability to pull his elected candidates across the finish line.

Vance was trailing in the polls before Trump waded into the race less than three weeks ago, and he endorsed the Hillbilly Elegy author and venture capitalist despite Vance’s history as a staunch Trump critic. Vance has since said he was wrong and, like most of his rivals, he clung to the former president, eager for his approval and running on his “America First” platform, underscoring the extent to which the Republican Party transformed into his image.

Vance is up against Democrat Tim Ryan, the 10-year-old Democratic congressman who easily won his triple primary on Tuesday night. But November’s general election to fill the seat vacated by outgoing Republican Senator Rob Portman is expected to be an uphill climb for Ryan in a state that won Trump twice by an eight-point margin and in what is expected to be will be a brutal election year for Democrats trying to maintain their congressional majority.

Tuesday marks the first multi-state game of the 2022 campaign, and comes the day after the leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that suggests the court may be ready to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which banned abortion in legalized the whole country, undo it. Such a decision could have a dramatic impact on the course of the midterm elections, when control of Congress, governors’ mansions and key election offices are at stake.

‘Nutcakes’ and ‘Too Much Trump’

At the Strongsville library in suburban Cleveland, 84-year-old George Clark said he voted for Vance based on Trump’s approval.

“I know he’s had bad press, but I know he’s a conservative and I always vote conservatives.” said Clark.

But Joanne Mondak, 71, said she voted for state senator Matt Dolan, the only major candidate not to aggressively court Trump. The rest of the field, she said, is “nutcakes” that are “too much Trump.”

Trump reminded voters in Ohio on Tuesday of his part in the race.

While visiting a radio show in Columbus, Trump praised all the candidates running for the Republican nomination but said he chose to support Vance despite his previous criticism of Trump because he believes he is best positioned to run for the seat. to win in November.

The former president amalgamation of two names of the candidates during a meeting over the weekend didn’t seem to affect his support.

While the timing of Trump’s approval — less than three weeks before Election Day and with early voting already underway — may have mitigated the impact, it dealt a major blow to former state treasurer Josh Mandel, Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons and Ohio’s former Republican Party Chair Jane Timken, who had gone to great lengths to bring Trump and his voters to justice.

The race will also go down as the most expensive in state history, with more than $66 million in TV and radio spending alone, according to the Columbus-based Medium Buying company.

Democrat Tim Ryan speaks as he launches his campaign on April 6, 2019. In November, he will face Vance. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)

Ryan, a ten-term Democratic congressman who failed to run for president in 2020, has tried to distance himself from the national Democratic Party ahead of what is expected to be a brutal November for Democrats. Campaigning in sweatshirts and baseball caps, he’s molded himself as a blue-collar crusader fighting for working families.

During his acceptance speech, Ryan got emotional as he talked about the community his steelworker grandfather could build while holding a well-paying union job.

“I’m absolutely sure we can do this if we come together, and it’s not about finding our differences. It’s not about hate,” he said.

Buoyed by historical trends and the deep unpopularity of Democratic President Joe Biden, Republicans are optimistic about retaking the House and Senate in November. A new president’s party almost always loses seats in upcoming midterm elections, and Republicans hope soaring inflation, high energy prices and lingering frustrations over the country’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic will further boost their outlook.

Meanwhile, Democrats are counting on Republicans — with Trump’s help — to pick candidates so extreme they won’t run for election in November. A Supreme Court decision on abortion could also boost traditional Democratic voters.

“Quite right, history teaches us that Democrats are going to lose control of the House,” said Dale Butland, a Democratic strategist in Ohio. “Actually, we should also lose control of the Senate. The only thing that can save us, though, is if the Republicans nominate a bunch of far-right lunatics who are unacceptable in a general election.”

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