Why political environment trumps candidate strength – for now

These are the latest election forecast updates from POLITICO, which tracks the impact of the primaries on both parties’ prospects in November.

On the one hand, Vance’s victory in the crowded race to replace retired GOP Senator Rob Portman was disappointing: He won just 32% of the vote, which means more than 2 Republican primary voters out of 3 chose another candidate.

But despite the enmity that has characterized the most expensive primary of 2022 so far, the other four leading GOP candidates quickly coalesced behind Vance, who is also expected to appear with former President Donald Trump as part of a victory lap in western Pennsylvania later Friday.

This party unity, combined with Ohio’s rightward shift — he voted for Trump by 8 percentage points in 2020, even as the then-president lost the national popular vote by 4 points — makes Vance the big favorite against Representative Tim Ryan, the Democratic Candidate. The pair will fight over the mantle of the working class and whether Ryan’s form of liberal populism can reclaim the voters the Democrats have lost over the past decade. will be an interesting test. But the race stays in POLITICO Likely Republican category for now.

Like Vance, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also failed to win a majority of votes in Tuesday’s GOP primary, securing 48% but heading for renomination as his top two conservative challengers split. 50% combined. DeWine has bigger grassroots issues than Vance: Vance was a first-time candidate in a crowded race, while DeWine’s name has appeared nine times on a statewide ballot since 1990.

The challenge for Democratic candidate Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton: Not only to keep Democrats and independents from defecting to DeWine, but also to hope the incumbent GOP will lose support from Republicans who think DeWine has taxed too much restrictions on civic and economic activity to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

It’s a steep climb. The state’s most conservative voters may not be in love with DeWine, but they’re excited to vote in November. The race remains Likely Republican.

At the congressional level, Ohio has two Throw in the air races. In the Cincinnati-based 1st District, GOP Representative Steve Chabot and Democrat Greg Landsman were unopposed in their primaries. But in the redesigned 9th District — in the northwest corner of the state, including Toledo — Republicans nominated JR Majewski to face Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

Majewski flew under the radar for most of the campaign. He spent far less on publicity ($6,000) than State Senator Theresa Gavarone ($74,000, even though she had about $500,000 in outside groups advertising on her behalf) and the Rep. State Craig Riedel ($397,000), according to AdImpact.

Establishment Republicans wanted Gavarone — she had the backing of the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership and Winning for Women, while Riedel campaigned as a more staunch Trump supporter. But while the two supposed favorites and their allies attacked each other, they mostly ignored Majewski, who had just $57,000 in the bank in mid-April and was raising money to send a group to the Washington rally that took place. preceded by the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, among other prominent red flags in his oppo file.

So why does racing stay in our Throw in the air Category? Because, after redistricting, it’s a district that Trump won by 3 points — and, in this political environment, Kaptur has some work to do to win over voters skeptical of the Democrats, even against a flawed opponent. Had the Republicans nominated Gavarone, the race could have moved to Lean Republican.


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