The Ohio Senate race is heating up, as J.D. Vance has taken the lead in the polls. For what it’s worth, Ryan even tweeted the latest poll asking for donations.
🔵Tim Ryan (D): 42%
🔴JD Vance (R): 45%
The GOP is massively outspending us on the airwaves and a BRAND NEW poll shows me slipping 3 points behind JD. We need your help ASAP to get things back under control before it's too late to recover.
— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) August 30, 2022
He has been speaking like a centrist Democrat, as Vance continuously pointed out that Ryan is anything but a centrist, especially when you look at his voting record in Congress. Recently, this video surfaced on Twitter that showed Ryan saying he is a progressive.
“You can count on me to be in the fight … I’m progressive. I’m going to vote that way. I’m going to support you in every way shape and form … You can count on me.”
.@TimRyan was specifically asked whether he will fight for abortion, LGBTQ and trans issues.
His response: "You can count on me to be in the fight…I’m progressive. I’m going to vote that way. I’m going to support you in every way shape and form…You can count on me.” pic.twitter.com/j6S93imUWT
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) August 30, 2022
He said the quiet part out loud, noting that he would vote like a progressive in the Senate. That clip should be played by Vance’s campaign, on social media, in ads, etc., on a loop because it not only shows that Ryan is not a centrist, he shows his true side.
Here is why this matters: Historically, Ohio has rejected progressive candidates locally and nationally. Yes, Nina Turner was a Senator of Ohio, but there has been a shift since then, and not many other progressives other than Turner have won their races in Ohio. Let’s take a look at some of the races.
In 2016, during the Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton received 56.7 percent of the vote, while Bernie Sanders received 42.7 percent; however, in 2020, Joe Biden received 72.4 percent, while Sanders received just 16.6 percent of the vote. In 2021, centrist Democrat Shontel Brown received 50.1 percent of the vote; progressive Democrat Nina Turner received 44.6 percent of the vote during the special election primary. Brown garnered 66.3 percent of the vote; Turner received 33.7 percent of the vote. In 2022, Brown won by a larger margin against Turner than in 2021.
As you can see, Ohio has rejected progressive candidates time and time again, and Ryan’s comments could be a gift to Vance if he turns that clip into a campaign ad.
Tim Ryan caught on camera telling people he is, in fact, a culture warrior—for the values of the far left. https://t.co/OVdZTlHhLT
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) August 30, 2022
When asked about Ryan constantly flip-flopping, Vance said:
“I think we’re in a really good spot here in Ohio. The problem that my Democratic opponent, Tim Ryan, has is that he tries to be one thing on his TV commercials, but his voting record and his public statements just don’t back it up. On one hand, he criticizes mildly Joe Biden’s debt forgiveness plan for college students. On the other hand, he voted for the exact same thing two years ago. You can’t just flip-flop on every position that you’ve held over the last two years and expect people to take you seriously. I think we’re in a good spot against Tim Ryan. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I think we have to make sure that Ohio voters actually get out there and vote because, if they don’t, we’re going to put a guy who’s supported defund the police and supported these inflationary policies into the Senate from Ohio, and we deserve to have a good senator from Ohio, not a rubber stamp for Joe Biden.”
The polls look too close for comfort, and it will go back and forth until November, but Vance has made up ground, and if the GOP base in Ohio turns out and votes, he will become Ohio’s next Senator.