The New York Times over the weekend explained that Ohio Republican Sen.-elect J.D. Vance’s win in the midterm election was a “reminder” that the Buckeye State is “no longer a swing state,” which will cause Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown to have a tough reelection in 2024.
Brown, who turned 70 this month, is the only Democrat to win a statewide election in the last decade in Ohio. However, Vance’s win posed an even harder reelection battle for his 2024 reelection bid, especially after the Republican governor won by roughly 25 points.
The Times’ Trip Gabriel wrote:
With the victory of J.D. Vance over Mr. Ryan fresh in mind — a Republican triumph in broadly disappointing midterms for the party — Ohio Republicans this week were sharpening knives in anticipation of taking on Senator Sherrod Brown, the Democrat whose long-term credibility with blue-collar voters was a template for Mr. Ryan.
At the same time, some Republicans cautioned that Mr. Brown would be a more formidable opponent. One strategist, Jai Chabria, who was Mr. Vance’s chief campaign adviser, called Mr. Ryan “the zero-calorie Sherrod Brown.”
Ohio has nothing comparable to the heavily populated suburban band outside Philadelphia, which has become strong Democratic terrain.
The publication pointed this out just days after Brown told Spectrum News that he plans on running for reelection in the Buckeye State in 2024, stating, “I’m running in 2024. And I run to win.”
Even though his statement was not an official announcement, Brown’s political adviser, Justin Barasky, who also worked with Rep. Tim Ryan (D) during his failed run this cycle, admitted to the Times that “the national Democratic Party brand has suffered significantly with working-class voters,” but noted that the Buckeye State has not completely slipped away from the Democrats like other formerly competitive Midwest states.
“Ohio is not going the way of Missouri and Iowa, that’s why we have a Democratic senator, and they don’t,” Barasky told the Times. “But we’re not Pennsylvania anymore, and we’re not Wisconsin, and we’re not Michigan.”
He also argued Brown should not automatically be counted out of the 2024 race because the numbers from the midterm election show Ryan did better in the parts of the state than President Joe Biden won in 2020, meaning that it “leads you to believe Sherrod is in a relatively strong position.”
Even though former President Donald Trump won the state in the past two presidential elections, former President Barack Obama also won the state twice during his two presidential runs.