With multiple reports coming out of Ohio that GOP U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance's campaign is running out of money four months before the midterm elections, Republican strategists are beginning to grow worried they may lose the seat currently being held by retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R).
Over the weekend, the Daily Beast reported, "The J.D. Vance campaign is broke. That’s the key takeaway from Federal Election Commission filings this week, which show that between mid-April and the end of June, the Vance team raised a million dollars, spent more than that, and is a quarter of a million dollars in the hole with just four months until election day," and Andrew Tobias of Cleveland.com reports that has GOP strategist waving warning flags.
Vance, who received the endorsement of Donald Trump, edged out former state treasurer Josh Mandel who failed in his attempt to get the former president's nod during the contentious run-up to the GOP primary.
According to Tobias, Vance's run against his general election foe, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), is going to require more than his campaign is currently bringing in from the state's voters and there are concerns he may not be up to the task.
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"Ryan’s early money edge – and Vance’s ongoing efforts to retire a cumulative $1 million in campaign debt, with $700,000 of that covering a personal loan he made to seed his run – was a cause of concern for several Ohio Republicans who were interviewed for this story," Tobias wrote before asking Terry Casey, a Columbus-based Republican strategist, about the state of the race.
"I think legitimately he’s got to crank up his fundraising, and a lot of that’s got to be national,” Casey admitted. “But clearly, they’re still digging out and recovering from the primary, because it was so nasty, twisted and dirty.”
Another conservative Ohio strategist, who didn't want to be identified, added, "It’s certainly got to be a wake-up call to the J.D. Vance campaign because Tim Ryan is running circles around him right now. It’s early enough that Vance can be fine, but he’s got to be moving, and he’s got to start working. That’s all there is to it.”
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The report adds that many Republican campaign officials believe that Vance -- the author of "Hillbilly Elegy" -- will pull out a win, however, there are growing concerns.
As Tobias wrote, "... some feared Vance’s relatively weak fundraising, plus a variety of preliminary polls that suggest a tight race, could give an opening to Ryan to entice outside Democratic donors that so far have remained on the sidelines. Nationally, while trying to preserve their 50-50 split in the Senate – with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote – Democrats have focused on other states, either prioritizing protecting incumbents or reaching to win seats in states deemed to be more competitive."
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