Trump’s JD Vance Wins Ohio’s GOP Senate Primary

Photo credit: AP

JD Vance has officially won the massively contentious and hyper-competitive GOP Senate primary in Ohio, buoyed by Donald Trump’s endorsement. 

The race has been seen as an early indication of the former president Trump’s hold on the Republican Party as the midterm election begins. 

Vance was once a critic of Trump. His 2016 memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” about his Appalachian childhood brought him fame. Vance spent most of the time in this race behind in the polls. But Trump endorsed him at a late stage in the election, and it pushed Vance to frontrunner status. 

Both Vance and Trump downplayed Vance’s own past scathing criticisms of the former president. Vance even said that he was wrong to say so. 

When Vance accepted the GOP nomination, he struck a unifying tone, which experts say feels rare for a Trump supporter. He complimented his rivals, something that Trump has specifically never done. Vance silenced boos for his now-former opponent, who is the former state Treasurer Josh Mandel. 

Vance pledged to appeal to Ohio’s many moderates as the November midterm elections approach, especially after a very bitter campaign between the two GOP candidates. At one point the especially bitter campaign saw the two candidates nearly come to actual blows on a debate stage. 

Now Vance will face Democratic candidate Tim Ryan in the general election race to fill the seat, which is being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman. 

Portman is a 10-term Democratic congressman and easily won his primary this week, which was between three candidates including himself. 

Now Ryan will probably face a bit of an uphill battle because Ohio has gone to Trump twice in a row by a big 8-point margin. As a warning sign as well for the Democratic Party in Ohio, the Republicans in the state participated in the primaries about twice as much as the Democrats. 

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