Nolte: Ohio Senate Poll Shows Trump Nod Could Put J.D. Vance over the Top

JD Vance, the venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” speaks with supporte
AP Photo/Jeff Dean

Polling shows a nod from former President Donald Trump could put Ohio Republican U.S. Senate primary candidate J.D. Vance in the lead.

Vance, an insurgent candidate who’s run an impressive campaign on an unapologetic America-first platform, is now, according to the excellent pollster at Trafalgar, in second place and could surge to first if the rumored endorsement arrives.

Ohio’s Republican primary is just a couple of weeks away on May 3, and it’s winner-take-all. Per Trafalgar, here’s the rundown…

Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel leads the crowded field with 28 percent support.

Jumping to second place is Hillbilly Elegy author Vance with 22.6 percent support.

Languishing in third is former frontrunner Mike Gibbons with just 14.3 percent.

Matt Dolan, Jane Timken, Mark Pukita, and Neil Patel respectively sit at 11.6, 7.5, 2.1, and 0.8 percent.

The potential game-changer in this poll is the highly-coveted Trump endorsement. When Trafalgar asked Republican primary voters if a “Trump endorsement would make them more or less likely to support that candidate,” 54.9 percent said “more likely.” Only 25.7 percent said “less likely.”

Rumors abound that Trump is preparing to endorse Vance, and those rumors are likely a trial balloon from Team Trump.

Endorsing Vance would be a smart move on Trump’s part. As I’ll explain below, Vance is surging and doing so at the right time. This means that the former president could burnish his image all the more as a kingmaker with a timely nod in Vance’s direction.

As far as Vance’s surge, earlier this month, a Fox News poll showed him languishing in third place with just 11 percent support. In late February, a previous poll from the Hill/Emerson showed him at eight points.

U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance speaks with prospective voters on the campaign trail on April 11, 2022 in Troy, Ohio. Vance, a prominent author, announced his candidacy in July 2021 to replace retiring Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH). (Gaelen Morse/Getty Images)

What’s notable, though, is Vance’s improvement with Trafalgar. Last month Vance sat at just 14 percent. So, in this same poll, he’s improved almost nine points. And let’s not forget that Trafalgar blows the imbecile pollsters at Fox News out of the water.

Gibbons’ slide is also notable. Widely seen as the frontrunner, his campaign has been plagued by a couple of serious missteps. Just last week, the millionaire investment banker said the middle class is “not really paying any kind of a fair share” of taxes.

In late March, Gibbons (along with Mandel) also said he supports a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which would effectively mean America declaring war against Russia. If we shoot down a Russian plane, which is the only way to enforce a no-fly zone, that’s an outright act of war.

Vance blasted that lunacy in a couple of tweets:

Raising taxes on the middle class and going to war with Russia are not only two of the worst ideas in the history of worst ideas, but it also reveals a candidate who might not be ready for primetime. As far as the no-fly zone insanity, if a media-manufactured moral panic can manipulate Gibbons (and Mandel) into stating it’s time for America to shoot down Russian planes, how will they stand up to the media onslaught during a general election? Steadiness and competence are what win elections.

As far as Gibbons’ outrageous claim that the middle class is not taxed enough, Democrats must be salivating over that beauty.

I can think of nothing Democrats would like more than to run to the right of a Republican on the issue of middle-class taxes.

By the way, I’m not a big fan of memoirs, most especially memoirs written by young people. Almost all of them are narcissistic and shallow. Nevertheless, because it was such a phenomenon, and long before I knew anything about Vance’s politics, I read Hillbilly Elegy and found it superb. His empathy and understanding of what plagues the American working class and poor was right there on every page, and none of it was condescending.

Best of all, although media elites embraced the memoir (at least until Vance went the full-America first), it was not written to impress them.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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