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JD Vance on defense in unexpectedly close Ohio Senate race | US Senate

JD Vance needed an explanation.after gaining Brutal and costly primaries To secure the Republican nomination in Ohio’s Senate election, Vance barely showed up in campaigns over the summer, letting his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan, dominate the airwaves.

The poll shows Vance, the first-time candidate and author of the best-selling memoir Hillbilly Elegy, is running evenly with Ryan in a campaign many Republicans hoped would be an easy win. .

“We have a tough campaign,” Vance said at an event with supporters at Avon. Ohio, last weekend. “I know a lot of people are frustrated because I didn’t get to see much of my TV commercials over the summer. Hopefully that’s starting to pick up in the last few weeks.”

Vance’s struggle to establish a clear lead in Miller, Ohio Republican Senate Failure In other battlefield conditions that may determine critical upper chamber control. Like Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania and Herschel Walker of Georgia, Vance managed to win the Republican nomination with the support of Donald Trump, but stumbled in the pivot to the general election.

Republicans are now vying to avoid a Democratic victory in Ohio, often at the expense of investments in other close races. It could spell doom for Republican hopes of overwhelming the Senate in the midterm elections.

Trump won Ohio by 8 points in 2020, but recent polls show Vance and Ryan tied in natureA group of National Republicans became aware of the problem in Ohio and began dedicating more resources to the race.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a super-pack in tandem with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, announced last month that it would set aside $28 million in television and radio advertising to support Vance. As it grows, the group has also reduced its advertising reservations in Arizona by about $8 million. partially attributed In “Unexpected Expenses in Ohio”. (SLF announced on Tuesday Withdrew entirely from the Arizona Senate race.)

The SLF’s heavy investment in backing Vance highlights how the Republicans are holding up defense in an unexpectedly close race. Even if SLF funding allows Vance to survive in Ohio, this victory won’t bring his party closer to a Senate majority.

In reality, Vance needs all the financial help he can get.At the end of the second quarter of 2022, Vance’s campaign ended up with $3.6 million in Ryan’s bank account. reported having only $628,000 in cash on hand. From April to June, while Vance, who will fight in the competitive Republican primary, raised and spent his $1 million, Ryan raised his $8.6 million and easily won the party’s nomination. won.

Ryan uses his cash advantage to launch a massive advertising blitz, see him as an independent-minded centrist, and run commercials attacking Bunce as an out-of-touch elite with extreme views. Did.

of One of Ryan’s adsOhio mother who lost son Joe to opioid addiction criticizes Vance now a non-profit organization For enlisting the help of a doctor with ties to the pharmaceutical industry. “Words can’t describe the feeling of being betrayed,” the woman said in the ad. She said, “JD Vance chose to help pharmaceutical companies rather than people in distress like Joe.”

of another memorable video, Ryan throws a football at a TV screen showing Republican ads attacking him. “They say you can know a person by their enemies,” Ryan says in the ad. “Well, here comes their bullshit ad.”

Over the summer, Ryan’s ad campaign went largely unanswered by Vance’s team, allowing the Democrats to chip away at their opponent’s dominance in Republican-leaning states.

Tim Ryan has used his cash advantage to launch a massive advertising blitz. Photo: Jay LaPrete/AP

“I feel like he won the primary and went into the witness protection program because of Trump’s help,” said Jessica Taylor, editor of the Cook Political Report Senate and Governor, of Vance’s summer campaign. “Vance got hit in a really brutal primary. You need to work to restore your image.”

Democrats in Ohio reveled in Vance’s absence from campaigns and broadcasts, sending derisive statements whenever he left the state for fundraising.

“He needs to be here to rally people, but he’s not here. He’s been literally almost everywhere, but he’s been here,” said Ohio Democratic Commissioner Elizabeth Walters earlier this month. “This must be a tough moment for a party that can’t be bothered to show up by your standard bearer and your frontrunner. ”

Even some of Vance’s supporters admit that with less than 50 days to go before Election Day, he has a lot of grounds to make up for in the campaign. “What he has to understand is not what the opponent is saying, but the record of the opponent,” said Avon Lake voter Tom Patton as he left Vance’s event last weekend. Said, “He has to do more.”

South Amherst voter Nicolette Allsopp, who attended the Vance event with her two sisters, reluctantly agreed that Ryan had run an “effective” ad in the campaign. MaryJo Moluse, Allsop’s sister Avon girlfriend, added that she feels more competitive in Ohio State this year than she did in 2020. I really think so,” Marth said.

Vance and his supporters seem to have woken up to that reality.The candidate has gradually increased his campaign appearances and TV ads in recent weeks. one adVance walks the streets of his hometown, accuses Ryan of not helping law enforcement officers enough, and laments the recent rise in violent crime in the country.

Mike Hartley, former Ohio governor and senior adviser to Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, cites the ad as an example of Vance successfully restarting the campaign at a critical final stage. mentioned.

“That’s what he’s going to run, that’s what he should be running, and I think that’s going to solidify his advantage,” Hartley said. I think I did a good job of getting my stride.”

Vance also maintains a busy schedule of campaign events this month, including an appearance at last Saturday’s rally with Trump in Youngstown, Ryan’s congressional district. Vance needed those voters to vote in November to defeat Ryan, and he used the rally as an opportunity to He used his record as an opportunity to criticize those who allegedly misrepresented it.

“There are two Tims out there,” Vance told thousands of rally attendees. There’s a campaign Tim out there…we need to push DC Tim to the curb.”

In a lengthy and often tortuous speech, Trump repeated the message, praising Mr. Vance as “America’s number one warrior” and attacking Mr. Ryan as a “far-left Democrat impersonator.”Trump also took a while to dismiss report The Republican Senate candidate has tried to distance himself from him by saying, “JD is kissing my ass and desperately wants my endorsement.”

“[Ryan] Mr. Trump pretends to be a moderate so that he can be elected and betray everything you believe and lie in front of you like he is my policy friend. “He’s not a moderate. He’s a radical left.”

That offensive strategy seems to resonate with some of Trump’s most loyal fans in Ohio, helping Vance win the Republican nomination in May and leading him to the goal in November. It helped.

“I don’t really care [Ryan]Cortland voter Lori Ferguson said as she waited to enter the Trump rally. “I think the way he speaks now is just trying to make Republicans think he’s on their side.”

William Fair, a voter from Navarre who was ahead of Ferguson in line, admitted he didn’t know much about Vance, but said Trump’s endorsement was enough to secure his vote. “If Trump wants him, we’ll get him,” Fair said.

Fair’s comments highlight the major challenges facing Ryan, despite the campaign’s effective advertising and clever messaging. For many voters, an “R” or “D” next to a politician’s name overrides specific concerns about individual candidates. Given that Sen. Sherrod Brown is the only Democrat to win statewide outlaw office in Ohio since 2008, that could put Ryan at a disadvantage.

“In fact, in the last decade or more, we increasingly see even Senate elections becoming almost parliamentary in nature, meaning that it is the parties, not necessarily individuals, who vote. ” said Taylor.

Like all Democrats, Ryan faces national headwinds of record-high inflation and low Biden approval ratings.the latest ryan told the New York Times Reflecting the president’s unpopularity in Ohio, he will not campaign alongside Biden.

“[Ryan is] He’s running what he believes it takes to win, and I think they’re running what I consider a good campaign,” Hartley said. “But that’s enough. I don’t think so… In my eyes, I think Tim Ryan has clearly peaked, and now JD Vance is signing.”

Even as Republicans across the country swooped in to support Vance, Ryan remained unwavering in his determination to stop the Ohio Democrats’ losing streak.

‘He’s looking for a rescue team,’ says Ryan We talked about Vance last Monday“Ohio wants a fighter, so saving him in Ohio just isn’t enough.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/25/jd-vance-ohio-senate-race-republicans JD Vance on defense in unexpectedly close Ohio Senate race | US Senate

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