Voters still aren't sold on J.D. Vance in his own hometown just hours before polls open for Ohio's primary election.
The venture capitalist and "Hillbilly Elegy" author picked up Donald Trump's endorsement, however clumsily, but voters in Middletown, where Vance grew up, don't seem terribly impressed by the former president's imprimatur, reported The Daily Beast.
“We’re still not sure,” said one woman at Swire Tavern in the Rust Belt town. “To be honest, we kind of like Mike Gibbons.”
Gibbons, a businessman who had consistently led the GOP pack until recently, has fallen out of the top three candidates for U.S. Senate behind Vance, former state treasurer Josh Mandel and state Sen. Matt Dolan, and the group of four Middletown lifers at Swire Tavern explained what they liked about him.
“He’s not a politician,” the first woman's husband said of Gibbons.
“Well, Vance isn’t either,” another man said.
But the first woman said the Yale-educated Vance came across differently than Gibbons.
“Yeah, but you know, the way he is,” the woman said. “He seems practiced, in a way that he seems like he’s a politician.”
The second man agreed, adding that he didn't expect to be saddled with Gibbons for as long if he won the election.
“He’s old,” the man said. “He’ll die. Then we can get him out and get someone else in.”
The group agreed that Mandel, who previously ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 and 2018 and served in the state legislature, was too polished.
“He’s a politician,” the first man said.
In the end, they couldn't talk themselves into backing Vance, despite his Trump approval.
“We love the book though,” said the second woman.
“The book and the movie,” the first woman added.