The other hopefuls and their allies, though, are still hoping that voters won’t be so forgiving of Vance’s past impieties. Former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who lost the 2012 Senate race to Democrat Sherrod Brown, and his backers at the Club for Growth have continued airing ads highlighting Vance’s old anti-Trump comments. Wealthy businessman Mike Gibbons, who took second in the 2018 Senate primary, has also spent heavily on his own commercials, though he’s continued to focus on bashing Mandel.
Listen to a breakdown of the May primaries on Daily Kos Elections’ The Downballot podcast with David Nir and David Beard
Another candidate to watch is Portman’s choice, former State Party Chair Jane Timken, though her decision to stop airing ads on broadcast TV late in the race is an ominous sign for her chances. Finally, there’s state Sen. Matt Dolan, who co-owns Cleveland's Major League Baseball team. Dolan, who is the one major candidate to condemn the Big Lie, has used his personal resources to run commercials touting himself as a more traditional conservative. Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly attacked him for changing his team's name to the Guardians last year, a decision the state senator says he wasn’t involved in.
We’ve seen a few polls since Vance won Trump’s endorsement, and they indicate he still doesn’t have the nod locked up. A Fox News survey found Vance leading Mandel by a small 23-18 margin, though Vance’s super PAC allies see him defeating the former treasurer 31-19. The Democratic firm Blueprint Polling, meanwhile, shows Dolan edging out Vance 18-17, with Gibbons and Mandel at 13% and 12%, respectively.
Things are far less chaotic on the Democratic side, where Rep. Tim Ryan enjoys a huge financial edge over Morgan Harper, a former adviser to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Joyce Beatty for renomination in 2020, as well as two little-known candidates.
The previews that follow are ordered by poll closing times and then race, with statewide contests first.
● IN-01 (R) (53-45 Biden): Seven Republicans are competing to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan in this constituency in the northwestern corner of the state that changed minimally in redistricting, though the only two who have spent serious sums are former LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo and Air Force veteran Jennifer-Ruth Green. Milo, who went on to serve in Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration, entered the primary as the frontrunner, but Green has aired ads arguing that the former mayor is a "Never Trump liberal" who refused to back Trump in 2016.
● IN-09 (R) (63-35 Trump): Nine Republicans are running to succeed GOP Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, who unexpectedly announced in January that he would retire after just three terms, in this south-central Indiana seat that shifted eastward but remains a conservative bastion. Of the four most notable contenders, perhaps the most familiar name is former Rep. Mike Sodrel, who lost his bid for a second term in a far-more competitive version of the 9th in 2006 and waged failed campaigns to reclaim it over the following two cycles. Sodrel has mostly been self-funding his latest comeback bid, which has allowed him to outspend his many rivals.
Former state Sen. Erin Houchin, who took second to Hollingsworth in 2016, is also trying again, and she’s benefited from almost $500,000 in aid from the cryptocurrency-aligned PAC American Dream Federal Action. Another name to watch is Army veteran Stu Barnes-Israel, who has also received over $900,000 in support from a group called Hoosier Values. (This post has been updated to reflect that PAC’s spending.) Rounding out the field is state Rep. J. Michael Davisson, who was appointed to the legislature last fall to succeed his late father, but he’s spent almost nothing.
● OH-Gov (R & D) (53-45 Trump): Republican Gov. Mike DeWine faces three intra-party foes, with former Rep. Jim Renacci looking like the most serious of the bunch—but that might be giving the ex-congressman too much credit. Renacci, who lost the 2018 Senate race to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown, has spent his time trashing DeWine's handling of the pandemic, and he’s used his personal resources to self-fund most of his race. (“Why waste time trying to raise money when you’re running against an incumbent?” the former congressman recently mused.) However, DeWine and his allies have still enjoyed a massive financial edge.
The contest also includes farmer Joe Blystone and former state Rep. Ron Hood, who badly lost last year's special election primary for the 15th Congressional District, and a recent poll indicates that they’re costing Renacci some vital anti-incumbent votes. A Fox News survey released in the final week of the primary gave DeWine a 43-24 advantage over the former congressman, with Blystone at 19%.
The Democratic primary is a duel between two former mayors who each left office at the start of the year: Cincinnati's John Cranley and Dayton's Nan Whaley. Cranley has enjoyed a modest spending edge, while Whaley has the support of Brown, who is Ohio’s most prominent Democrat. Cranley went negative about two weeks ahead of Election Day with an attention-grabbing ad in which he compared the performance of Cincinnati with Dayton's during the two ex-mayors' time in office.
● OH-09 (R) (51-48 Trump): GOP mapmakers sought to weaken 20-term Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who has served in the House longer than any woman in history, by gerrymandering her Toledo-area seat, which under the old lines voted 59-40 for Biden. Two Republican state legislators are now running to take her on. State Sen. Theresa Gavarone enjoys the support of 5th District Rep. Bob Latta, who currently represents just over half the new 9th. State Rep. Craig Riedel, meanwhile, is backed by the infamous Jim Jordan, and he’s run ads pledging to join Jordan’s Freedom Caucus.
Riedel has dominated the airwaves, with AdImpact reporting that he’d outspent Gavarone $290,000 to $43,000 on commercials going into the final week. J.R. Majewski, a conservative activist who has links to the QAnon conspiracy cult, has also generated some attention, but he has significantly fewer resources than either of his two rivals.
● OH-11 (D) (78-21 Biden): Rep. Shontel Brown faces a Democratic primary rematch against former state Sen. Nina Turner, a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter whom she defeated in last year's special election in a 50-45 upset. Turner is hoping that she’ll gain ground now that the district has been redrawn to include all of her old base in Cleveland, but this time, she’s at a huge financial disadvantage as she goes up against the incumbent. Democratic Majority for Israel PAC, AIPAC, and the crypto industry-aligned Protect Our Future PAC have been airing ads in support of Brown, while Turner hasn’t benefited from any major outside spending. The congresswoman also earned an endorsement on Friday from President Biden.
● OH-13 (R) (51-48 Biden): This seat in the southern suburbs of Akron and Cleveland, which is a radically reconfigured mashup of five old districts, is open thanks to some unusual circumstances: Two incumbents might've sought reelection here, but one, Democrat Tim Ryan, is running for Senate while another, Republican Anthony Gonzalez, opted to retire after voting to impeach Trump.
That's left us with a seven-way GOP primary, though Trump-endorsed attorney Madison Gesiotto Gilbert has decisively outspent her intraparty rivals. The field also includes former congressional aide Shay Hawkins, who lost a close 2020 race for the state House and whom The New York Times says is the one contender to air any TV ads. The winner will take on state Rep. Emilia Sykes, who faces no opposition in the Democratic primary.
Tuesday will be an exciting night, so we hope you’ll join us for our liveblog at Daily Kos Elections!