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Trump’s power and more takeaways from the Ohio and Indiana primaries: NPR

Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio, JD Vance, arrives on stage in Cincinnati after winning the primary on Tuesday night.

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Trump's power and more takeaways from the Ohio and Indiana primaries: NPR

Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio, JD Vance, arrives on stage in Cincinnati after winning the primary on Tuesday night.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Republican candidates backed by former President Donald Trump had a good night in the primaries in Ohio and Indiana on Tuesday night.

Many of these candidates are younger and likely to make it to Congress — and if more of them win elsewhere this year, this round could represent something of a bridge to Trumpism, even after Trump. These are examples of the potentially lasting effects of how Trump changed GOP policy — though there are limits to his influence.

Pro-Trump candidates have continued to do better in rural areas, highlighting where his power is concentrated, but it remains to be seen how successful Trumpism can be in transitional areas.

In the shorter term – and something worth watching – there was an indication that Republican enthusiasm is up, while that of Democrats is down. This can be seen in the increase in GOP turnout from the 2018 primaries.

It’s a harbinger for President Biden and his party in the president’s first midterm, when parties out of power historically do well. Biden’s stature within the party, however, received a small boost when an Ohio candidate he endorsed won in a landslide on a progressive firebrand who only narrowly lost last year.

The headliner of the evening was JD Vance

Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy author, won a crowded Ohio Republican Senate primary in the race to replace incumbent Senator Rob Portman.

Vance, who received a boost after Trump endorsed him, beat former state treasurer Josh Mandel by about 8 points. Vance was much lower in the polls before Trump’s endorsement, and he knew exactly who to thank Tuesday night.

“Thank you to the president for everything, for supporting me,” said Vance, 37, who in 2016 called himself the “Never Trump guy” and said he “never liked him.”

He changed his tone.

“A lot of fake media,” Vance said, “wanted to write the story that this campaign would be the death of Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not the death of the Order of the America First Day.

Trump also competed with — and defeated — a powerful pro-GOP outside group, the Club for Growth, in this race. The club, which has often aligned itself with the former president, continued to support Mandel after Trump endorsed Vance. This drew Trump’s ire, and at one point Trump reportedly sent the group’s leader a text cursing him.

Vance will face Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan

Ryan easily won the Democratic nomination. Vance, who accused Ryan Tuesday night of portraying himself as a “Trump Democrat,” starts as the frontrunner in a state that tends to be more Republican.

Democrats hope Ryan can make inroads with a working-class-focused message, but the politics of this state are clear — so much so that when Ryan was asked if he wanted Biden to campaign with him, he said he was running his own race.

Other Trump candidates have done well in congressional races

-Ohio 7th congressional district

Max Miller, a former Trump White House staffer, won the primary in Ohio’s 7th District. Miller is almost guaranteed to become a congressman due to the district’s conservative leanings.

Miller, 33, was initially leading this round against Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted to impeach Trump. But Gonzalez retired instead of facing Trump’s onslaught. After the redistricting, Miller found himself in another district held by GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs. But Gibbs retired, paving the way for Miller.

Trump's power and more takeaways from the Ohio and Indiana primaries: NPR

Former President Donald Trump listens to Max Miller, Republican candidate for Ohio’s 7th congressional district, speak at a rally April 23 in Delaware, Ohio.

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Miller is a controversial character. He was accused of physical abuse by ex-girlfriend Stephanie Grisham, another former White House aide. Miller denies the allegations and sued Grisham for libel and libel.

Grisham’s book also describes Miller as Trump’s “Music Man”, playing tunes from Trump shows, such as Memories from Catsto appease the then president.

“We will protect lives, end the wall, fund our police, support our military, fight for fair trade deals and stop the Biden administration’s senseless spending,” Miller said in a statement after his victory, repeating the Trump ” America First”. agenda. “We will defend our country and our citizens, and we will make sure that America is respected again.”

– Ohio’s 9th congressional district

In a key seat Republicans hope to overthrow this fall, a man who twice painted a 19,000-square-foot Trump banner on his lawn, JR Majewski, will face longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in the 9th District of Washington. ‘Ohio.

Kaptur faces one of the toughest elections of his career this year, after redistricting dramatically changed the composition of the district.

Majewski is a relative newcomer to politics and has delivered a message reviving “Trump’s America”. “It’s time to make America dominant again,” Majewski, 42, said. says in one of its announcementsshowing the phrase – mimicking Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan – painted on the side of an 18-wheeler truck.

– Indiana’s 1st congressional district

In Indiana’s 1st District, another pro-Trump candidate who cuts an interesting profile won a Democratic-held seat that is expected to be competitive this fall.

Jennifer-Ruth Green, a former Iraqi veteran and Air Force pilot who won the GOP by 25 points, ran her entire campaign slamming her main opponent for failing to back Trump in 2016.

Green, who is black, ran ads saying she would advance Trump’s “America First” policies and on a platform that is anti-abortion and to keep transgender girls out of girl’s sports. She would be the only black female Republican member of Congress if she beat freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan.

Despite the successes of pro-Trump candidates, there is evidence that Trump’s power goes no further

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine again won the GOP nomination. He faced a challenge from three other Trump-aligned candidates, who were critical of DeWine’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

But DeWine, who had starting power on his side, beat former Rep. Jim Renacci by 20 points. Trump did not endorse this run, although Renacci tried. He even hired troubled former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale to lead his race.

In the race for Secretary of State, Trump surprisingly endorsed the man who won, the incumbent Frank Larose on a challenger who aligned himself much more strongly with Trump in pushing his election lies about voter fraud who was not.

LaRose has previously defended the US election, saying in 2020 it was “irresponsible” for anyone to “sow fear about the administration of elections.” But he has since softened his stance, telling NPR he thinks there are “schemes” going on in other states.

So candidates who don’t fully buy into Trumpism can win, especially if they have the money and an established political brand. And while Trump’s endorsement catapulted Vance into a crowded Senate field, Vance won only about a third of the vote – although several other candidates were also pro-Trump.

This has been one of the stories of the Trump era, even for Trump himself. He was rarely the majority choice when he ran in the GOP primary for president in 2016, but Republicans were never able to coalesce around an alternative.

And it’s clear, right now, Trump is and will be a major factor in this election.


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