- Republican author and venture capitalist JD Vance is taking on Democratic Representative Tim Ryan for an open U.S. Senate seat in Ohio.
- Senator Rob Portman, who currently represents the state in the Senate, announced in early 2021 that he would not run again.
- Despite Ryan’s big financial lead, pundits say Vance has a better chance of winning in November.
Republican JD Vance is taking on Democratic Representative Tim Ryan in Ohio to represent the state in the US Senate. Republican Senator Rob Portman, who currently holds the seat and has served in the Senate since 2011, announced in January 2021 that he would not run for a third term, leaving the seat up for grabs in 2022.
Candidates for the U.S. Senate race from Ohio
Vance is a venture capitalist, veteran, and author who rose to prominence after the publication of his book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” which delves into Vance’s childhood and upbringing in Ohio.
Vance won the Republican nomination in a packed primary race of seven GOP candidates, winning 32.2% of the vote. Vance, who received an endorsement from President Donald Trump ahead of the primary election, has previously compared Trump to “America’s Hitler” in private messages with his former roommate.
At a rally in September, the former president mocked Vance and accused him of showering him with flattery in exchange for the president’s support.
“JD fucks my ass, he wants my support so badly,” Trump said in Youngstown, Ohio.
Ryan, Vance’s general election candidate, has represented Ohio districts in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003. He represented the state’s 17th congressional district for 10 years before moving to the 13th district of Congress in 2013 after a redistribution.
Ryan easily beat the other two Democratic candidates in the Ohio primary election, receiving 69.6% of the vote. In 2020, before running for the Senate, Ryan ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. His presidential campaign failed to gain traction, which ultimately led to him dropping out of the race and running for re-election to the United States House.
Ohio Voting History
The state voted for President Donald Trump over Joe Biden by approximately 8 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Ohio has been a swing state for decades, having elected both Republicans and Democrats to the presidency four times each in the last eight presidential election cycles.
The race for money
According to OpenSecrets, Ryan has raised $47.3 million, spent $44.5 million and has $2.8 million in cash as of October 19. Vance has raised $12 million, spent $9 million and has $2.9 million in cash as of October 19. .
By late October, several dozen super PACs, national party committees, politically active nonprofits and other non-candidate groups had combined to spend an estimated $90 million advocating for or against candidates in that race, including during the primary phase of the race. The vast majority of that spending benefited Vance, the Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican-backed super PAC, which alone accounted for nearly a third of spending.
What the experts say
The race between Vance and Ryan is classified as “Republican leaning” by Inside Elections, “Republican lean” by The Cook Political Report and “Republican leaning” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.