Tim Ryan has turned his race into a surprising battleground in the Senate. Now comes the hard part.

The flagship is the product of an unbalanced campaign to date: Ryan has spent more than $8 million on advertising, including $6.5 million on television since May. But until this week, Vance’s campaign has been uninterrupted from the airwaves all that time. Ryan also stayed far ahead of Vance in the cash rush, thanks in part to a strong small dollar donation drive.

Ohio race results hold big stakes in the 2022 midterm elections. The Senate is well balanced at 50-50, and Democrats have enjoyed a summer of solid balloting in swing state races despite the challenging political environment. The addition of another seat in which the Republican Party is vying for the list of races on the battlefield in the fall could upend control of the hall next year.

Ironically, the flurry of negative stories that has surrounded Vance’s campaign in recent weeks—which has been struggling with fundraising and his party wondering if Ryan is outsmarting him on the airwaves—may have had a positive effect on Vance’s campaign. Fundraising has increased since then, and National Republicans stepped in to start buying ads in the race.

On Thursday, Vance joined Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he raised nearly $300,000 through a golf fundraiser, according to a person familiar with the event.

Vance’s ally said donors who had been on the sidelines since the primaries suddenly started writing checks. After a bitter initial battle, Vance’s erstwhile opponents now step in to lend their support. Jane Can just held a fundraiser for Vance, and the campaign is now scheduling additional events with Josh Mandel and Mike Gibbons.

This week, One Nation, the nonprofit portion of the Senate minority leader’s external spending machine Mitch McConnell (Republic-Kentucky), announces the purchase of an ad for $3.8 million in the Ohio Senate race. It comes on the heels of a $1 million television purchase launched this week as a campaign collaboration between Vance and the Republican Senate National Committee.

In an interview with Politico, Ryan said National Republicans are “panic” about Vance’s prospects and have backed away from the idea that his own internal polls represent the pinnacle of his campaign.

“We have a lot of room to grow,” Ryan said. “In many ways, this race held together.” “It’s just going to come down to how many Republicans and independent voters we can pull in the next three months,” he added.

On that front, Ryan is still making progress. Retired Senator. Rob PortmanBush’s former chief of staff, former director of George W. Bush’s Homeland Policy Council, is expected to write an endorsement on Ryan’s behalf in this Sunday’s edition of the Cincinnati Inquirer, as well as cash in on his state-based Republican. rolodex, Politico learned.

“Tim spends time in every county in Ohio, including Republican counties in southwest Ohio,” Bridgeland told Politico. “He really listens to people, and he wants to know their concerns. And JD Vance is tearing people apart. And the last thing this country needs right now is more people igniting the worst dimensions of human nature.”

Ryan’s internal poll also shows he’s making headway with independents: he’s showing a 20-point lead with these voters. According to the poll, Vance also has an 85 percent name-determination and an unfavorable 50 percent rating after bruising and costly in the GOP primaries. Ryan, who has enjoyed a smoother journey to his party’s nomination, finds himself with a name on 80 percent and an unfavorable rating at 36 percent).

But Republicans on the ground in Ohio and national activists in the capital say they are confident the Liberal congressman will fall dramatically when he hits Vance up in the air on positive points, especially when Ryan begins facing offensive ads in the Republican-leaning state.

A person familiar with One Nation’s decision to buy an announcement time in Ohio said that “the monetary disparity between the candidates is a concern,” but they expect Vance to win “if he makes up that gap to some extent.”

Protecting Ohio’s Values, the super PAC that backed Vance in the primaries with $15 million from Thiel, will spend on Vance’s behalf again during the general election, according to a person familiar with the group’s plan. Thiel has yet to say if he’ll cut another check, but Super PAC has added new donors and plans to spend seven figures on Vance this fall.

“In terms of what’s to come in the future, I think he’s probably at an all-time high now,” said Putnam County Republican Party Chairman Tony Schroeder, referring to Ryan. “Honestly, we’re in a period where people aren’t paying a lot of attention. When the engagement comes along, nothing will help Tim Ryan.”

Vance left the Ohio campaign trail several times this summer, including trips to CPAC events. But besides addressing crowds of activists, the trips served as fundraising opportunities. On Friday, before speaking in Dallas at CPAC Texas, Vance presided over a breakfast for the organization’s donors. He also held one-on-one meetings in the heavy-donor city, as he did when he traveled to Tel Aviv last month for CPAC Israel.

“A lot of this is midsummer pissing, to be honest,” said someone close to the campaign, referring to how much unpopular President Joe Biden has stayed in Ohio and how much Republican ads would seek to associate Ryan with the president.

During his speech on Friday, Vance urged attendees to sign up to make calls and knock on doors for his campaign, criticizing Ryan as a “weak and fake congressman.” His comments indicated that there was still a fight ahead to win over voters frustrated with Democrats, “whether they’re conservative, whether they vote Republican every time – people who just want the good life in the country their grandparents and great-grandfathers built.”

A campaign spokesperson said Vance was not available for an interview Friday while he was in CPAC, Texas.

Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorczyk said he first met Vance last month when Vance was traveling to the state and visiting him one-on-one with law enforcement leaders. Levorchik took office in 2011 as a Democrat, but changed his voter registration last year to Republican. Ottawa County, an Obama-Trump county, exited its long-running leading position in 2020 to support Trump for a second term.

Levorczyk said he so far plans to cast his vote this fall for Vance, indicating Ryan’s mistrust in some law enforcement circles.

“Is he right beyond what some people might want? It could be,” Levorchik said of Vance. “But when you only have two candidates to choose from, you have to weigh who is actually best suited to represent you.”

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