Trump issues endorsement for key Senate race

by Alex Caldwell

Photo: Alamy

President Donald Trump threw his support behind Bernie Moreno, a Cleveland former businessman, in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race amid a crowded Republican field looking to unseat incumbent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Ohio is viewed as one of the most opportune flips for Republicans in the Senate, as the Buckeye State has shifted right in recent years, characterizing Brown as one of the nation’s most vulnerable incumbent senators.

“Bernie Moreno, a highly respected businessman from the GREAT State of Ohio, is exactly the type of MAGA fighter that we need in the United States Senate,” Trump wrote in a statement to his Truth Social on Tuesday.

He continued, “Bernie will always stand up to the Fascist “nut jobs” and the spineless RINOS in order to fight the corrupt Deep State that is destroying our Country.”

Trump maintained that Ohioans “need a successful political outsider” to defeat the “Radical Left Liberal” Sherrod Brown. He wrote that Brown “pretends” to champion policies which are pro-Trump, but instead votes in lockstep with Joe Biden.

For reference, Brown has voted for the policies of Biden 98.5 percent of the time as of Jan. 3, 2023, per FiveThirtyEight’s congressional vote tracker.

Trump also called upon the entire Republican Party to “UNITE” around Moreno’s Senate campaign, perpetuating that the businessman will be strong on issues like immigration, crime, tax cuts, election integrity, and the Second Amendment.

He concluded that Moreno “will be an outstanding United States Senator,” having his “Complete and Total Endorsement.”

Per The Hill, Moreno has not been shy of his support for President Trump. A recent ad showed the candidate embracing Trump’s “America First” slogan, where he also referenced support from Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, and Kari Lake, R-Ariz.

Trump’s endorsement could give Moreno the boost that he needs to prevail in Ohio’s GOP primary, with candidates such as state Sen. Matt Dolan and state Secretary of State Frank LaRose vying for the nomination.

Moreno currently leads his primary opponents in recent polling. A December survey of likely voters from McLaughlin and Associates found him leading with 22 percent, followed by LaRose at 18 percent, and Dolan at 16 percent support.

While Moreno’s lead is certainly surmountable, Trump’s endorsement could very well expand his lead by a wider margin.

Trump’s blessing of candidates, particularly in Ohio, has also helped propel them to victory in their elections. In 2022, his endorsement of J.D. Vance helped his popularity soar immediately following. Vance later won the Republican nomination, and ultimately the general election against former Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan.

While Moreno trailed incumbent Brown in the most recent survey from Emerson College Polling/WJW-TV Fox 8, with the senator holding 42 percent to the Republican’s 32 percent, 26 percent of Ohioans still reported they were “undecided.”

The amount of reported undecideds, Ohio’s conservative trends, and Trump and Republicans’ massive wins in the state during recent years could mean a victory for Moreno is on the horizon.

Ohio election polls also tend to favor Democrats, as they wrongly favored Democrats by seven points in 2020, and nearly five points in 2016. Polls also wrongfully favored Brown in 2018, as he had a more than 13-point polling average lead over Republican Jim Renacci, according to Real Clear Politics.

Brown still won his reelection in 2018, but by only six points—a far drop down from his previous double digit advantage, a sign he may be more vulnerable in his bid for a fourth term in an increasingly red state.

Senate Republican must pick up two seats to regain control of the upper chamber, or flip one for control should the party win the White House in 2024.

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