Saturday, May 28

Trump’s endorsement power could be tested in Senate race

Ohio voters are going to the polls Tuesday in primaries for Senate, governor and some House seats, including a rematch between Rep. Shontel Brown and Nina Turner in Ohio’s 11th district. 

The GOP Senate race looks to be a test of how much influence former President Trump’s endorsement has on the party. Trump endorsed author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance in the Senate race over former state treasurer Josh Mandel, who had also sought his endorsement. 

Ohio had long been seen as the perennial swing state. But Trump won the state by 8 points, and Trump’s endorsement of Vance caused his popularity to soar. A Fox News poll released last week, conducted after Trump’s endorsement, showed Vance leading with 23%, up from 11% in a Fox News poll from early March. Vance was followed by Mandel (18%), businessman Mike Gibbons (13%), state Senator Matt Dolan (11%) and Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken (6%). Notably, 25% of voters said they were still undecided.

Dolan, whose family owns the Cleveland Guardians, is the only leading candidate to say that President Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, and he did not seek Trump’s endorsement. On Monday, he told CBS News that hat if Mandel or Vance win, “they’re going to have to do some explaining” about their baseless claims of a stolen election.

Former President Trump Holds Rally In Ohio Ahead Of State's Primary
 J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, shakes hands with former President Donald Trump during a rally hosted by the former president at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022 in Delaware, Ohio.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images


“President Trump was a good Republican president. You’re going to have to ask them why they chose to ignore Ohioans and go after his vote. I went after Ohioans. That’s what I was focused on,” Dolan said. 

On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of northeast Ohio has the blessing of the state’s Democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown, and other mainstream Democrats against his two challengers. But even if he cruises to his likely victory, he will face an uphill battle in November, since national Democrats are likely to focus on flipping seats in states Mr. Biden won or those that are more competitive. 

Republican Governor Mike DeWine is likely to cruise to victory on Tuesday, despite facing two primary challengers and no Trump endorsement.

In Ohio’s 11th House district, Sanders surrogate Turner is challenging Brown again after Brown defeated her in a special election last year. The Cleveland-area district is a safe blue seat. Turner received a last-minute endorsement from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasico-Cortez, although Brown is backed by U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn and the Congressional Black Caucus. 

The final day of voting comes just hours after Politico published a leaked draft opinion that suggested the Supreme Court appeared ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has sent shockwaves through the nation. While draft opinions can change before a final opinion is reached and Supreme Court justices can change their minds, the news could galvanize voters from both parties. 



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