Former President Donald Trump said polling data showed his support for JD Vance propelled the Senate candidate to victory in Ohio’s Republican primary this week.
Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington tweeted a graph on Wednesday showing Vance rising in the polls after the former president endorsed him and receiving another boost after the two campaigned together during a a meeting. The tweet is the Trump camp’s latest boast of its continued dominance over the Republican Party after Tuesday’s closely watched primary.
Harrington’s tweet included a screenshot of Real Clear Politics’ polling average for Ohio’s Republican Senate primary. The image shows Vance around 10% in the polls before Trump on April 15 gave the venture capitalist and author his coveted endorsement.
The screenshot shows Vance hitting nearly 15% on the day of the endorsement and 17% a few days later, but still trailing then-favorite Josh Mandel’s 24%.
Trump held a rally for Vance on Saturday, April 23. A day later, Vance tied with former state treasurer Mandel at 23%, according to a polling average from Real Clear Politics. Vance edged Mandel in the polls ahead of Tuesday’s primary. As of Wednesday, Vance currently had 32.2% of the vote cast to Mandel’s 23.9%, with 95% of the votes counted.
“The GOP is now the MAGA party!” Donald Trump Jr. proclaimed in a tweet on Tuesday, using the shorthand for his father’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”
Trump-endorsed House candidates also prevailed in their primary races on Tuesday.
David Niven, professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati, said Newsweek in a previous story, primary results indicate Republicans in Ohio are receptive to divisive candidates in the mold of Trump, rather than the more stuffy Rob Portman, who is stepping down from representing the state in the Senate.
“Trump’s endorsement elevated JD Vance to the front of the pack,” Niven said. “But even with Trump’s endorsement, the vast majority of Republicans in Ohio voted for someone else.”
Notably, the Real Clear Politics poll average shows that State Sen. Matt Dolan, a GOP candidate who did not seek Trump’s endorsement, had a smaller surge that followed Vance’s. Dolan came third with 23.3% and has since endorsed Vance.
“Republicans in Ohio have spoken and now is the time to look forward, united in our conservative beliefs to make our state and our nation a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Dolan in A declaration Tuesday.
Previously, Trump had denigrated polls ahead of the 2020 presidential election, insisting he was ahead of Democrat Joe Biden and calling some poll results “fake”.
Newsweek contacted Trump for comment.