Before Donald Trump endorsed the candidate, JD Vance was in third place for Ohio’s Senate primary.
Donald Trump said that his decision to endorse Vance was not an easy one. Former state GOP Chair Jane Timken, investment banker Mike Gibbons, state Senator Matt Dolan, and Treasurer Josh Mandel are all strong candidates. Now, Vance will run against Democrat Tim Ryan in the general election.
When the Associated Press called the race, Vance was leading the pack with a strong 32%. FiveThirtyEight and many other media outlets called the race a Test for Donald Trump’s influence. It’s true that this is a testament to Trump’s enduring influence but what does that mean going forward?
Ohio represents a vital battleground as a swing state in general elections. Furthermore, many argue that Ohio has a tendency to predict presidential elections. NBC breaks down predictive Ohio counties here. It may be worthwhile to compare that map to Ohio’s general election where Vance will face off against Ryan.
Vance’s climb was steady and fast. As late as April 26th, a Fox News poll still had him at only 26%. That number pails in comparison to the 32% he won with only a week later.
Is Trump’s enduring influence going to help Republicans in future elections?Morning Consult Polling showed that 44% of Americans voted “against Trump” rather than “for Biden” in 2020. These primary election results also only reflect the Republican Party and not the general population even in Ohio. It’s hard to say if voter turnout will increase in opposition to a Trump endorsed candidate. Ohio’s general this year will be a far more important test than its primary.