The Ohio US Senate race has been downgraded for Republicans from Likely R to Lean R as Democratic candidate Rep. Tim Ryan continues to gain momentum.
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball explained the Ohio Senate ratings change:
We have been waiting to see if Republicans had to mount a rescue mission for Vance. The Hillbilly Elegy author has been outraised, outspent, and outmaneuvered all summer by Rep. Tim Ryan (D, OH-13), who has been using his superior funding to both hammer Vance and bolster himself. Our understanding is that private polling in the race is good for Ryan and that an internal poll released several weeks ago by Ryan’s campaign showing him leading 48%-45% may actually understate his advantage compared to unreleased surveys on both sides. A couple of recently released public polls, one from Emerson College and the other from the GOP firm Trafalgar, showed Vance up 3 and 5 points respectively.
We’re moving the race from Likely Republican to Leans Republican. Our confidence in Vance winning remains, but we do not feel as strongly about it as we previously did.
The reddening of Ohio over recent election cycles means that Vance should be the favorite to win. The race has almost arrived at Labor Day and the consensus from both campaigns is that Tim Ryan has outperformed Vance.
JD Vance is a fake right-wing populist in the Donald Trump mode, and Rep. Ryan is an actual blue-collar populist with deep roots in his home state of Ohio. The struggles of JD Vance bear some similarities to Oz campaign in Pennsylvania. Both Vance and Oz got their respective Senate nominations because Trump swooped in and saved them during Republican primaries.
Oz and Vance defeated primary opponents that were closer to pro-business conservatism than Trumpism, and both of Trump’s hand-picked nominees are flailing because they are facing Democratic opponents who are the authentic versions of what they are attempting to fake.
JD Vance has been an awful candidate, and his face-plant candidacy would be getting more attention if so many other Republican Senate candidates were not even worse.
Republicans are hoping that carpet bombing Ohio with ads and the red lean of the state will be enough to elect JD Vance, but the midterm election dynamics have changed, and the momentum has shifted toward Democrats and Rep. Tim Ryan.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association