J.D. Vance wins Ohio Senate race, expanding the limits of how inauthentic a winning candidate can be

J.D. Vance wins Ohio Senate race, expanding the limits of how inauthentic a winning candidate can be

After giving Republicans unusual reason to fret about Ohio, J.D. Vance pulled it out. Ohio has been increasingly red in recent election cycles, so just about any Republican statewide candidate is strongly favored. Vance, though, had unusually narrow leads over Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan at some points in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman, before managing to accomplish what he had been expected to do all along.

Vance, one of the Senate candidates nominated through the dual efforts of Donald Trump and billionaire Peter Thiel, ran in a tight competition with Mehmet Oz for the title of least authentic Republican candidate this cycle. Having originally made his name as a Never-Trumper, Vance ran hard right in 2022. He pushed the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory and touted cuts to Social Security and Medicare before backing off.

The Senate has gained a member who will truly go whichever way the political wind blows.

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