Trump-backed Republican J.D. Vance is still doing worse than his fellow Ohio Republican running in a statewide election this year, Mike DeWine, who is angling for another term as governor.
Vance, whose venture capital firm was tied in a recent report from Rolling Stone to a company that conducts experiments on animals that sometimes accidentally take dramatically cruel turns, was four percent behind of Rep. Tim Ryan (D), his Democratic challenger, in a new Baldwin Wallace University poll. In the same polling, DeWine, who like other governors has faced criticism for policies meant to stem the spread of COVID-19, was 17 percent ahead of Democratic opponent Nan Whaley in the governor’s race — so these survey numbers weren’t simply uniformly positive for Democrats. Including those who lean towards one of the candidates, Vance was at 46 percent, while Ryan just passed 50 percent. There were 3.8 percent of respondents identifying themselves as undecided.
Among those who selected Vance, about 60 percent said their vote was “mostly a vote for J.D. Vance” rather than simply opposing Ryan. Ryan did better among his supporters when they were asked if their votes were mostly about supporting their selection or opposing the alternative. A full 68.1 percent of Ryan’s supporters picked the option of their vote mostly constituting support for Ryan, while about one-fourth said it was mostly oriented around opposing Vance, who’s never held office. The seat for which Ryan and Vance are running is being vacated by retiring Senator Rob Portman, a Republican. The state’s other Senator is a Democrat, but Trump won Ohio in both 2016 and 2020. In the poll, only 32.6 percent of respondents expressed a favorable view of Vance, while nearly 40 percent shared a favorable perspective on the Democratic contender, who has made the Ohio Senate contest closer than many would no doubt have expected.
In a debate, Ryan tore into Vance for his associations with figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), and he also criticized the Republican contender’s position on abortion. “They’ve got to go to Indiana. They’ve got to go to Illinois,” Ryan said, discussing people seeking abortion in Ohio, where post-Roe restrictions on abortion have been in flux. “And that’s not good enough for J.D. Vance. He supports a national abortion ban, in which he wants women to have to get a passport and go to Canada. We’ve got to have some moderation on this issue. He’s got a very extreme position. J.D., you called rape ‘inconvenient.’ Rape is not inconvenient. It’s a significant tragedy, and he thinks that we should have Ohio state law which says if you’re raped or pregnant through incest that you should be forced to have the baby.”