Report: Trump to Publicly Back JD Vance in Crowded Ohio GOP Senate Primary U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance speaks with prospective voters on the campaign trail on April 11, 2022 in Troy, Ohio. Vance, a prominent author, announced his candidacy in July 2021 to replace retiring Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH). (Gaelen Morse/Getty)
By Solange Reyner | Thursday, 14 April 2022 04:36 PM
Former President Donald Trump plans to publicly back well-renowned author and U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance in a crucial Ohio race, reports NBC, though his plans are still not finalized as he considers Vance’s poor polling against GOP primary opponents Josh Mandel, who Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, supports, Matt Dolan and Mike Gibbons.
Jordan has also tried to dissuade Trump from endorsing the “Hillbilly Elegy” author.
“Nothing is final until it’s final. So Trump can always change his mind,” said one source who had spoken recently to Trump about the Ohio race. “But he already kicked the tires on everyone and he’s ready to go with Vance. It’s either Vance or nobody. And it’s only nobody if somehow the other campaigns can get him to hold off.”
Trump’s press corps had already written up Vance’s endorsement when Mandel’s team requested the former president consider an internal poll conducted by his campaign showing Mandel in front with 33% of the vote, followed by Dolan and Gibbons tied at 15%. Vance and Timken were tied at 9%.
The data showed that even with Trump’s support, Vance rose to just 15% and was still in a three-way tie for second with Mandel in the lead at 19%.
Vance, a venture capitalist, last year was the focus of nearly $1 million coordinated ad buys attacking his previous opposition to Trump, according to Politico.
“I’m a Never Trump guy,” Vance said in an interview with Charlie Rose in 2016, a clip used in the new ads. “I never liked him.”
The ads also featured a screenshot of a Vance tweet from October 2016 that read: “My god what an idiot,” in reference to Trump.
Vance has said he regrets the criticism.
“J.D. is a strong supporter of President Trump, and his rapid rise in the polls is scaring the same pro-China, globalist D.C. establishment that spent millions of dollars attacking President Trump in 2016, because they’re terrified of someone who stands with Trump and working-class Americans on tariffs and a pro-America trade policy getting elected to the U.S. Senate,” said Taylor Van Kirk, Vance’s press secretary, in a statement.