GOP candidates make final push in closely watched Senate race in Ohio

Theodore Roosevelt, a famous and multi-talented political animal once said, “I believe there is only one thing in the world that I cannot fathom, and that is Ohio politics.”

It is indeed a complex place, shaped by its history as America’s first frontier state. Since the state’s founding, Ohio has been settled over the years by various ethnic groups looking to thrive west of the Appalachian Mountains. Ohio was once a leader in American politics, but it is losing this position as its population gets older, whiter and more culturally conservative. But its mixture of completely different areas makes it a great case to watch regardless.

David Gevels, author of “Barnstorming Ohio”, A book on the political and cultural geography of the state.

“We are the boring middle of American politics,” added Jeffs. “And I mean it in a loving way.”

Ohio’s major population centers form a diagonal axis that cuts across the state from Cleveland in the northeast through Columbus all the way to Cincinnati in the southwest, along the I-71 corridor. There are as many as 12 media markets in the state, which have a population of 11.8 million spread across nearly 45,000 square miles.

As a result, “there really isn’t a strong voting center in the state,” said Kyle Kondyk, an election forecaster and author of a book on Ohio politics.

Ohio is holding a primary on Tuesday that will give us it The first major electoral test for Donald Trump’s influence In the Republican Party since leaving office. by JD Vance Authentication In the state Senate’s Republican primary, Trump single-handedly leapfrogged Mr. Vance, a venture capitalist and acclaimed author, to the front of a crowded field.

Expect low turnout

But Vance’s victory in the primaries is not certain. Although the candidates have spent nearly $70 million on television, voters don’t seem to be motivated by the opportunity to choose a replacement for retiring Senator Rob Portman. Turnout in the race expected to be low.

“With no Trump on the ballot, I don’t think this race is number one on most voters’ minds,” said Thomas Sutton, director of the Institute for Community Research at Baldwin Wallace University, which conducts voter polls in Ohio.

That could help Matt Dolan, a traditional Republican who is likely to attract support from regular party members and high-income suburban voters. Under this theory, casual voters who might be affected by Trump’s belated endorsement of Vance are less likely to turn out.

Dolan’s allies, too, suggest that because the other candidates will split Trump’s hard-line votes among themselves, Dolan, the senator whose family owns the Cleveland Guardians, has a chance of getting a significant number of votes by getting more informal votes. Trump fans. They also predicted that Governor Mike DeWine’s power in the gubernatorial primaries could lift Dolan among ordinary Republicans.

Mike Murphy, a former Republican adviser, said that because Dolan had not been the subject of many offensive ads, “he became a last-minute new face after the rest had been dealt significant damage, both by himself and by the paid media.”

credit…Maddy McGarvey for The New York Times

The Five States of Ohio

Most analysts in Ohio Divide the state into five regions: northeast, around Cleveland; the northwest, including Toledo and the surrounding thriving farmland; the central, prosperous regions in and around Columbus; southeast, Appalachian part of the state; and southwest, dominated by Cincinnati and its suburbs.

The Northeast is the Democratic stronghold of Ohio, and is the most populous, most industrialized, and most diverse part of the state. But it’s also home to tens of thousands of Republican voters, so all the candidates campaigned and advertised heavily in the area.

The Southwest, which includes Vance’s birthplace, Middletown, is the traditional center of Republican politics in Ohio. In a more Southern perspective, it is filled with core Republican voters: traditionally in their cultural outlook, they tend to favor free enterprise and worry about issues like crime, drugs, and immigration. Vance, who now lives in Cincinnati, is having his party in town.

The Southeast has been a swing region in Ohio politics, although it is roughly 95 percent less diverse than whites. John C. Green, director emeritus, said the Appalachian region, Ohio, which has been hobbled by job losses and has been shocked by the forces of globalization and economic modernization, and with a smaller proportion of people with college degrees, is filled with “people who are angry at the world.” from the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron.

As a result, Green said the region has a “much greater tolerance for harsh political fluctuations” — and could gravitate toward Josh Mandel, who has campaigned just as much as he has on any particular conservative ideas. Mandel, who supports the super PAC, has posted advertisements on rural radio stations in the area attacking Vance and calling it a “scam.”

In the 2016 Republican presidential primary, the Ohio map was sharply divided between John Kasich, who was the incumbent governor at the time, and Trump, who would of course go on to win the Republican nomination and the presidency. Kasich won the most populous Ohio county on his way to holding the state, while Trump cleaned up in Appalachian communities along the Ohio River.

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One question on the minds of many Ohio watchers: How would college-educated Republicans respond to Vance?

Will they flock to the mundane, educated Yale investor lurking inside Angry MAGA warrior became a Vance? Or will they be pushed back by how far the right has moved to the Trump base trial?

Vance’s schedule and ad spend in the last few days of the race show the focus on suburban areas and small towns. Since Saturday, he has visited Circleville, a city south of Columbus; Cuyahoga Falls, a city north of Akron; Westlake, a suburb of West Cleveland; Dublin, a suburb northwest of Columbus; Mason, a northeastern suburb of Cincinnati.

PAC’s supercharged Vance, protecting American values, is spending heavily on TV ads in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, as well as Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown.

“On the surface, it appears the campaign trail is going after Republican voters halfway through,” Green said.

It’s a deceptively classic strategy you’d hardly expect from the protagonist of “Hillbilly Elegy” – a tale of rural communities riven by poverty, drug addiction and what he calledlearned helplessness. In 2016, Vance was urging Americans to seize their destiny, as he did by getting through his turbulent childhood.

“We are no longer a country that believes in human efficacy and, as a former poor person, I find that incredibly insulting,” he said in an interview.

In this campaign, Vance commanded the support of far-right figures who trade in conspiracy theories and critics such as Steve Bannon and actors Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Green. In recent days, President Biden has been accused of deliberately dousing Ohio with fentanyl, an unreasonable charge without evidence.

“In a way, he’s selling the kind of victimization he’s criticized in the book,” said Jeffs.

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Manchin is running in the Republican primary in West Virginia

It’s not often that you see a Democrat endorsing a Republican candidate. But the usual political bets have been off in West Virginia.

Republicans occupy all three seats in the House of Representatives. But after West Virginia lost a territory in the once-a-decade redistricting process, there is room for only two of them in the next Congress. That has left two Republican members of Congress, Alex Mooney and David McKinley, battling for the new second district.

Over the weekend, Senator Joe Manchin, the country’s most famous right-wing Democrat, Advertise in an advertisement He supported McKinley, a longtime West Virginia politician and engineer by commerce first elected to Congress in 2010. The primaries are on May 10.

Endorsement adds another layer to the current race that has already become a proxy war of sorts. Donald Trump support moneyHis former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, McKinley supported. Manchin joins Governor Jim Justice – Republican Who left the Democratic Party? After Trump’s election – in McKinley Authentication. Mooney, in particular, is seen as a potential Senate contender for Manchin in 2024.

Mooney has a similar resume to McKinley, although he’s cross-state. He spent a decade in the Maryland legislature before leading the state’s Republican Party, a history that provided McKinley with quintessential fodder in his offensive advertisements against”Maryland Money. “

Both men campaign on typical Republican talking points, such as immigration and gun rights. But they have devoted most of their television advertisements to attacking each other, accusing each other of working with Democrats and betraying Trump.

Manchin may have rolled the knife to his Democratic critics, praising McKinley in his ad Rejecting what was once a cornerstone of President Biden’s social policy agenda An agenda, of course, was judged in part by Manchin’s opposition.

“To Alex Mooney and his out-of-state supporters, David McKinley’s suggestion to support Build Back Better is an outright lie,” Manchin says in front of the camera.

At the same time, Manchin supports one of the few Republicans who have supported the Biden administration’s outstanding legislative achievement. McKinley was one of the just Dozens of Republicans voted in favor of Biden’s infrastructure legislation last year.

– Blake and Leah

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