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Can the MAGA cavalry save JD Vance from the apathy unleashed by the Ohio “Hillbilly” party?

YONGSOWN, Ohio – The night before the Secret Service, RV merchandise vendors and thousands of big MAGA fans descended on Youngstown for a Trump rally in honor of Republican Senate contender J.D. Vance, the city’s biggest show under the lights at Ryan Stadium.

Paying off COVID-19 relief funds and the site of the first-ever penalty mark tossed at an American football game in 1941, the renovated ground reached its maximum capacity of 7,000 by halftime for the highly anticipated Chaney v Canfield, a suburban-city rivalry With high school football teams entering the match undefeated 4-0.

Along the railing at the top of the stands under a floodlight, standing with his arms folded and looking tied to the line of scrimmage, Charles Stevens said he wasn’t sold at Vance, who he described as an “opportunist.”

Despite voting for Reagan and both Bush — and with intent to vote for re-election Republican Governor Mike DeWine — the 66-year-old financial adviser who grew up in Youngstown wrinkled in the pockets of his windbreaker, pausing to explain why he planned to vote on a split ticket for Democratic Representative Tim Ryan.

“It’s hard not to know Tim Ryan,” Stevens, who came to see his grandson play with Canfield, told The Daily Beast, praising the congressman’s popularity among union members in his social circle.

For a realistic path to victory against Vance, Ryan will need voters like Stevens and his friends in order to build a coalition similar to that of Sherrod Brown, Ohio’s senior senator, who secured each of his three terms in the wave years for Democrats: 2006, 2012 and 2018.

Cohen, professor of political science at the university, David B. Akron, for the Daily Beast.

While conservatives rolled their eyes at Ryan’s campaign brand for the working class – like the congressman Tossing balls into ’90s TVs In one of his ads – the long-sought candidate may have a real chance to flip the seat of retired Republican Senator Rob Portman.

“He’s been in the US House for 20 years representing places like Youngstown and Akron and has a strong working-class support base. Ryan added that Ryan has always been an economic populist which is authentic, not a campaign gimmick,” Cohen added.

The Average RealClearPolitics The Ohio Senate race ranks as a neglect with Vance leading by an average of 2.7 percentage points, while FiveThirtyEight Senate . Model It gives Ryan a 29 out of 100 chance of winning.

Cohen noted that Ryan’s support has remained strong in the Trump years “because he has never wavered in his support for union rights” and his “characteristics with independents and disaffected Republicans.”

Stevens, who voted for Biden in 2020 but couldn’t bring himself to vote for Hillary Clinton against Trump in 2016, considered himself a disgruntled Republican. He said he changed his party’s registration in 2017 after being horrified in the early stages of the Trump administration.

Abortion, according to Stevens, has completely changed the way he views the upcoming midterm elections. Although DeWine signed into law –temporarily blocked By a district judge banning nearly all abortions, Stevens said the governor’s handling of the pandemic and the economy got his vote.

“I personally don’t support abortion, but I also don’t support making decisions about other people’s bodies,” Stevens said. I think they made the Republican mistake. They motivate the women.”

Former Dayton Mayor Nan Wiley, DeWine’s opponent, told The Daily Beast that the key to winning statewide for her and Ryan is to perform better with the suburban women.

“We compared white-collar counties in Detroit to white-collar counties around Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati,” Wally said, referring to a postmortem autopsy in 2018. Regions.”

Lisa Ricciardi, a 44-year-old hairstylist from Boardman, Ohio, who was at the game to see her son in a suit in special teams for suburban team Canfield, said she hasn’t seen much bombardment of TV ads yet, but he sure voted for Ryan. She said she votes for his character, but also that abortion is a major issue after the Dobbs Supreme Court ruling.

“I think he’s a guy who sticks to his word,” Ricciardi told the Daily Beast. “He does what he says he will do.”

While Vance, a businessman and author The Hillbilly ElegyHe previously compared abortion to slavery, and did not mention the topic or any anti-abortion messages during his speech at the Trump rally nor at a campaign event in Avon, Ohio, on Saturday morning. When asked at an Avon event if Republican Senator Lindsey Graham would support a national ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Vance dodged the question before being pulled over by a staff member.

Vance struggled with fundraising and asked several Avon event attendees why there weren’t more TV ads for the campaign than Ryan’s, something Vance acknowledged in his speech.

Nationalist Republicans rushed to the state to save him on the airwaves and in person.

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s PAC Senate Leadership Fund bought $28 million worth of statewide television and radio advertising, a purchase it first reported on. Ordinary Cleveland dealer.

At the rally in Youngstown on Saturday, the MAGA cavalry came out in full force in Vance’s favour, as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ge) brought down the house in an anti-transgender sermon and several lines of applause about the false claim that she stole the 2020 election. Mike Lindell got , CEO of MyPillow, to a standing ovation just to walk around. Representative Jim Jordan, his fellow Republican from Ohio, also stirred up crowds for a Republican senator.

But outside the stage, the enthusiasm for Vance at the rally was lukewarm.

John Conley, a retired union electrician from Fairlawn, Ohio, who attended the rally in an “ULTRA MAGA” shirt, told The Daily Beast he “didn’t know much about Vance” and primarily wanted to see Trump regain power, ideally with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. on the ticket.

“I’m not worried about J.D. Vance,” Conley said, adding that he doesn’t know much about his views on abortion.

He continued, “Donald Trump is the best president who has ever exercised the right to life.” “Yeah. I don’t care what he does with his morals, you know. I don’t care. He runs the country really well.”

Conley said he is pro-union, but bemoans fellow union members for favoring Ryan, a recurring theme for crowds who similarly find themselves separated from the ranks and profile due to their support for Trump.

David Bowen, a facility manager in Mayfield, Ohio, said he was initially “upset” that Vance had taken anti-Trump stances in the past, but ended up changing his mind about the candidate.

“When I listened to him speak a few times, I realized he kind of turned himself on,” Bowen said.

Jacob Spohr, another pro-union but anti-Ryan voter who works as a union builder, said he’s more excited to vote for Vance than DeWine, who continues to be envious of the COVID-19 lockdown measures.

“In terms of Vance, I have no doubt he’s much better than Tim Ryan,” Spohr, who wore a “Let’s Go Brandon” shirt emblazoned with the Ohio State flag and Brutus Buckeye tattoos underneath, told The Daily Beast.

Other participants in the rally said they were not familiar with Vance, but their hatred for Ryan was enough for them to pull the lever in favor of assistant Peter Thiel in November.

“I hate Tim Ryan’s guts,” said Donny Bates, a truck driver from Austin Town, Ohio. “It’s a disgusting garbage bag. I have all sorts of war names for it. He didn’t do anything for Mahoning County. Make sure you put that out there.”

Ryan, who was away from the campaign trail this weekend for a family wedding, mocked Vance for relying on Trump’s campaign trail, saying it was “no surprise” that he brought “his out-of-state allies to lie about Tim’s record and start a losing campaign.”

In both of Vance’s events, there was palpable concern about the current state of the race.

With the meet-and-greet wrapped up, many voters asked why the campaign wasn’t aired as much as Ryan’s campaign with TV ads.

Jim Thompson, a 75-year-old retiree from Illyria, Ohio, said he first heard about Vance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News, and that despite his admiration for primary GOP rival Josh Mandel, he decided to support Vance once he got Trump. authentication.

“My impression is the fact that I think it’s all that people are concerned about,” Thompson said of Vance. “For me, the three things are inflation, boundaries, and crime. I thought he could have touched on crime a little bit more.”

Back at the rally, Rob Burton, a 56-year-old contractor who drove into Youngstown from Tunesta, Pennsylvania, offered an outside perspective on Vance’s problems, comparing him to his state’s Republican Senate candidate, Mehmet Oz.

“I think they’re a bit shy about being outside, frankly,” Burton said. “I think they need to appear in public more. I don’t know where either of them stand.”

Burton said he ultimately feels Oz has the greater responsibility as a candidate, and will trade in Vance “in a heartbeat” to run in Pennsylvania.

Eric Noth, a 47-year-old small business owner from nearby Warren, Ohio, who missed the Ohio State football game to attend the rally, shrugged when asked if it was worth seeing Vance instead of catching the Bucks start.

Ohio State defeated Toledo 77-21 in front of a crowd from her hometown of Columbus, an issue less exciting than Chanley’s victory over her suburban rivals 16-13 the night before.

“Come on,” said Knuth, in the scarlet and gray shirt. “It’s Toledo.”



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