On Tuesday, according to WCMH, a Democratic strategist in Ohio expressed his confidence that Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Tim Ryan prevailed in his debate with Trump-backed venture capitalist J.D. Vance, as a surprisingly competitive race in a Trump-leaning state comes down to the final few weeks.
"Ryan, who represents Ohio’s 13th U.S. House district, lambasted Vance as a 'Silicon Valley vulture capitalist' with extremist beliefs. Vance, the 'Hillbilly Elegy' author from Middletown, derided Ryan’s staunch alignment with Democratic leadership during his 20-year career in Washington," reported Maeve Walsh and Natalie Fahmy.
At a post-debate roundtable held on NBC 4, Democratic strategist Dale Butland argued that both candidates did "what they wanted to do" at the debate, although he had some particularly scathing comments about Vance's character.
"[Ryan] had to expose Vance, not just for being the fraud and phony that he is, but also for being a dangerous extremist," he said.
Vance, who defeated former state treasurer Josh Mandel for the GOP nomination, is still considered a favorite to win in a state that backed former President Donald Trump by 8 points both times he ran. However, polls show the race competitive, with FiveThirtyEight's aggregate finding a virtual tie.
Over the course of the campaign, Vance has come under fire for controversial statements, including comparing abortion to slavery and suggesting women victimized by domestic violence should stay in their marriages. Ryan has also taken aim at Vance for his work in the venture capital industry, which he accuses of sending Ohio manufacturing jobs to China.
In recent weeks, Republican outside groups have spent aggressively against Ryan to try to secure this race, although some of these groups, like a new Trump-affiliated super PAC, jumped in so late that they are struggling to get air time for a decent price.