Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance secured a slim lead over Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in the first general election poll of the race.
The USA Today Network Ohio-Suffolk University poll showed Vance with a lead of just over two points with 41.6% of the vote. Ryan was close behind with 39.4%, while 16.8% were undecided.
“Ohioans are not going to send a career politician like Tim Ryan, who has voted for every Joe Biden policy that is crushing families when they fill up their cars or even buy groceries,” Taylor Van Kirk, a spokesperson for Vance’s campaign, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “JD Vance will be the next Senator.”
Ryan had a slightly better favorability rating and a much lower unfavorability rating than Vance. However, 61% of respondents had “never heard” of Ryan, compared to 49% for Vance.
Former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Vance in the GOP primary, won Ohio by 8 points in 2020. His endorsement of Vance breathed new life into his campaign, launching him into the lead after previously struggling in the polls.
Vance’s primary opponents attacked the former author for his past criticisms of Trump and his acknowledgment that he did not vote for him in 2016. He has said he regrets his past statements and vote.
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“Like a lot of people, I criticized Trump back in 2016,” Vance said in July. “And I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy.”
Ryan, a moderate Democrat, has sought to portray Vance as having abandoned “Ohio for San Francisco” while employed by Peter Thiel-owned Mithril Capital. He also released an ad dedicated to attacking China, which received criticism from some Democrats.
Despite the poll, The Washington Post’s Paul Kane reported the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is unlikely to put effort into attempting to win the seat, as it does not plan to go after “reach” states amid a potential red wave.
The poll surveyed 500 likely Ohio midterm voters between May 22-24 and has a margin of error of 4%.
Representatives for Vance and Ryan did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
LifeNews Note: Sebastian Hughes writes for Daily Caller. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience.