Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance has seen a surge in the polls following an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
According to a Fox News survey of voters taking part in the GOP primary next week, Vance’s backing has nearly doubled since the previous month’s numbers, up now to 23 percent.
That marks a 12-point increase and puts Vance 5 points ahead of former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel in the contentious primary race.
The shift in polling numbers indicates though that the race is still very much in flux. The 5-point lead is within the margin of error while – perhaps more importantly – a solid 25 percent of GOP voters indicate they remain undecided even at this late date.
JD Vance is now the front-runner in the Ohio Senate race, per new Fox News poll that dropped in last hour.
JD Vance 23%
Josh Mandel 18%
Mike Gibbons 13%
Matt Dolan 11%
Jane Timken 6%https://t.co/NOM0dtG1n5
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) April 26, 2022
Trump Endorses JD Vance
While not completely attributable to the increase in poll numbers, an endorsement from former President Donald Trump has proven invaluable for the Vance campaign.
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The Fox survey was conducted between April 20th and April 24th. Trump issued his “complete and total endorsement” of Vance in a statement on April 15th.
Trump also held one of his famous rallies in Ohio, which featured Vance.
“In the Great State of Ohio, the candidate most qualified and ready to win in November is J.D. Vance,” Trump said in a statement. “We cannot play games. It is all about winning!”
The backing of the former President, popular within his own party, has seemingly given Vance a boost toward that goal. At least in the primary.
Trump: ‘J.D. Vance may have said some not so great things about me in the past, but he gets it now, and I have seen that in spades.’ Endorses Vance in Ohio Senate race. pic.twitter.com/yo3QFYtETz
— Byron York (@ByronYork) April 15, 2022
The new poll addresses Trump’s endorsement, with 42 percent of primary voters saying it made them more supportive of Vance, while 23% indicated it made them less supportive.
Trump’s comments on the Ohio Senate race have always been carefully crafted to acknowledge the fact that current populist firebrand J.D. Vance has made some significantly disparaging comments about the former President.
In fact, the above statement addressed the controversy.
“Like some others, J.D. Vance may have said some not-so-great things about me in the past, but he gets it now, and I have seen that in spades,” Trump said.
There are a few comments that stick out. Vance, author of the memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” threatened to back Hillary Clinton in 2016 and called Trump “another opioid.”
The Political Insider reported last week on a text message from Vance worrying in 2016 that Trump was either “a cynical asshole” or “America’s Hitler.”
The screenshot below is @JDVance1’s unfiltered explanation from 2016 of the breakdown in Republican politics that he now personally is trying to exploit.
The “America’s Hitler” bit is at the end.
The public deserves to know the magnitude of this guy’s bad faith. pic.twitter.com/79Z0qSWFWF
— Josh McLaurin (@JoshforGeorgia) April 18, 2022
At a rally in Delaware, Ohio over the weekend, Trump again noted the comments but insisted the focus should remain on winning the Senate seat.
In his speech, Trump acknowledged that Vance had “said some bad s*** about me.”
“I studied this very closely,” he told the crowd in attendance. “I like a lot of the other people in the race. I liked them a lot. But we have to pick the one that’s going to win. This guy is tough as hell. He’s going win.”
It’s all about defeating the Democrat agenda come November, a worthy cause no doubt. Will Vance prove to be the best candidate when it comes down to the general election?