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Ohio Republicans gang up to stop Vance endorsement

Tender Branson

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By NATALIE ALLISON, MERIDITH MCGRAW, ALEX ISENSTADT and DANIEL LIPPMAN

04/14/2022 06:20 PM EDT

972a71d2-a6b1-49c4-92ae-14832c180c70-gop-ohio-senate-candidates.jpg


Republican rivals to J.D. Vance have embarked on a last-ditch effort to stave off an endorsement from Donald Trump in Ohio’s Senate primary, a response prompted by swirling speculation that the former president is close to backing Vance in the contentious race.

Trump has so far stayed out of the primary, even as early voting has already begun ahead of the May 3 election. But his endorsement could dramatically shift the margins in the crowded field of candidates, where no one in the five-way race has taken a commanding lead.

With an eye toward influencing Trump’s inner circle, on Thursday morning, Remington Research, a polling firm connected to former state treasurer Josh Mandel’s campaign, began circulating to top Republicans a polling memo arguing that a Trump endorsement of Vance would fail to vault Vance into serious contention.

“JD Vance will still lose even with President Trump’s endorsement. JD Vance is widely known by Republican Primary voters for his Never-Trumper comments and his calling Trump supporters ‘racists,’” Titus Bond, the Remington Research Group president, wrote in the memo. “Since he is already known to Ohioans as a self-proclaimed ‘Never Trumper’ and voters will forcefully be reminded of that, Vance will still lose even with President Trump’s endorsement.”

According to the memo, even with a Trump endorsement, Vance would only be in fourth place with 15 percent.

A collection of more than three dozen county GOP chairs and state party central committee members — including some from the state’s most populous counties — also banded together to sign a letter urging Trump not to endorse Vance, noting that he “referred to your supporters as ‘racists’ and proudly voted for Evan McMullin in 2016.”

“While we were working hard in Ohio to support you and Make America Great Again,” they wrote in a letter obtained by POLITICO, “JD Vance was actively working against your candidacy.”

Lisa Stickan, the chair of the Cuyahoga County GOP, said a group of county Republican chairs and state central committee members came up with the letter on Thursday after NBC reported that Trump plans to endorse Vance.

“It’s so late in the game and to come out with an endorsement now serves no purpose in helping the party,” she said.

Trump also heard recently from Club for Growth President David McIntosh — a Mandel supporter — who traveled with Trump over the weekend to a North Carolina rally. Trump has told people that, during the trip, McIntosh tried to sway him from endorsing Vance, according to one person with knowledge of Trump’s remarks. The Club did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump on Wednesday announced he will hold a rally next weekend outside of Columbus, further fueling the impression that he intends to take a position in the Senate race. The contest is one of the year’s most expensive Senate primaries so far, generating $55 million in television ad spending.

Trump’s decision recently narrowed down to Vance and Mandel, according to a person close to the former president. Mandel, who ran for Senate in 2018 before dropping out of the race, has consistently led in polling throughout the GOP primary. Investment banker Mike Gibbons “is not on his radar,” the person said, and Trump has written off backing Jane Timken, who he endorsed in 2017 in her successful race for Ohio Republican Party chair.


The Ohio (and Indiana) primaries are the next ones on May 3.

So far, only Texas had primaries for the November general election.

Ohio is a huge clusterf**k for Republicans in the US Senate, as can be seen in this article.

But despite that, they probably still win the seat again in November because of a R wave.
 

Tender Branson

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Why would Trump even agree to back Vance in the first place ?

Vance has been extremely critical of Trump in the past and now he's endorsing him ... I think that's a bad tactical maneuver from Trump and it could humiliate him if Vance loses the primary in 2 weeks despite his endorsement.
 

Tender Branson

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In the other race for Governor, another Republican Trump critic - (Governor Mike DeWine), seems fairly safe.

DeWine has strong approval ratings as Governor and leads his Republican primary opponent Jim Renacci by 20 points or more and is also favoured to win re-election in November by a big margin against Democrat Nan Whaley or John Cranley. Both are former mayors, of Dayton and Cincinnati.
 

Tender Branson

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The Indiana primary nearby, also on May 3, won't be really competetive.

There is one Republican incumbent for US Senator who has raised millions in money already for re-election and will easily win in November.

His Democratic opponent is unknown and has no chance whatsoever.

But some of the US House primaries there are still undecided (and in OH).
 

Tender Branson

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BTW:

While OH has both a Governor + US Senate race this year + US House races, Indiana has no Governor race this year.
 

Lycanthrope

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Looks like Trump gave Vance his blessing despite Ohio Republicans pleading with him not to:


"With J.D. Vance, Ohio gets both brains and brawn. Ohio has been good to me, I won it twice, really BIG, and I have likewise been GREAT for Ohio. Let's keep it going!" Trump said in a statement.


Typical Trump of course, making it first and foremost about his Favorite President, HIM!

Republicans mounted a last-minute effort to get the former president to change his mind. Dozens of local GOP officials sent a letter to Trump, obtained by Politico, listing off the scorching anti-Trump comments Vance had made in the past.

"While we were working hard in Ohio to support you and Make America Great Again, JD Vance was actively working against your candidacy," the letter said, adding Vance did not support Trump in 2016 and saying "he referred to your supporters as 'racists.'"


So Vance went from critic to lickspittle. How can Trump not love that?

"Like some others, J.D. Vance may have said some not so great things about me in the past, but he gets it now, and I have seen that in spades," Trump said. "He is our best chance for victory in what could be a very tough race."

Trump gets another bootlicker, Vance gets the love of those supporters he called racists. Win-win. Will be interesting to see if he gets a boost from Donald.
 

multivita-man

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I'm really starting to wonder at what point the mad dog rabid Republicans begin to turn on him. First Dr Oz in PA now Vance in OH. Those are critical swing states that are in really, really low hanging fruit for rural white conservative republicans right now and Trump is just looking more and more desperate for attention.

I guess he's really freaking out with his buddy Vladimir on the ropes in Ukraine.
 

RAMOSS

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Looks like Trump gave Vance his blessing despite Ohio Republicans pleading with him not to:


"With J.D. Vance, Ohio gets both brains and brawn. Ohio has been good to me, I won it twice, really BIG, and I have likewise been GREAT for Ohio. Let's keep it going!" Trump said in a statement.


Typical Trump of course, making it first and foremost about his Favorite President, HIM!

Republicans mounted a last-minute effort to get the former president to change his mind. Dozens of local GOP officials sent a letter to Trump, obtained by Politico, listing off the scorching anti-Trump comments Vance had made in the past.

"While we were working hard in Ohio to support you and Make America Great Again, JD Vance was actively working against your candidacy," the letter said, adding Vance did not support Trump in 2016 and saying "he referred to your supporters as 'racists.'"


So Vance went from critic to lickspittle. How can Trump not love that?

"Like some others, J.D. Vance may have said some not so great things about me in the past, but he gets it now, and I have seen that in spades," Trump said. "He is our best chance for victory in what could be a very tough race."

Trump gets another bootlicker, Vance gets the love of those supporters he called racists. Win-win. Will be interesting to see if he gets a boost from Donald.
I would not be surprised if the endorsement does not mean a thing.
 
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