Opinion: The real winner of the Ohio GOP primary

Opinion: The real winner of the Ohio GOP primary - Politics - News

The Triumph of Trump: How Bernie Moreno’s Victory in the Ohio GOP Primary Signals a Shift in Power

The unexpected defeat of Ohio state legislator Matt Dolan by Cleveland entrepreneur Bernie Moreno in the recent GOP primary race to challenge Democrat Sherrod Brown for the US Senate seat was a significant shock to many political observers. While the outcome of the election was unexpected, it was not the victory itself that was most surprising, but rather the substantial margin by which Moreno emerged triumphant.

Symbolizing the old guard of the Ohio Republican Party were incumbent Governor Mike DeWine and long-term US Senator Rob Portman, both of whom endorsed Matt Dolan. The defeat of this established Republican duo can be seen as the next chapter in a story that began in 2022 with J.D. Vance’s resounding win in the GOP Senate primary following Donald Trump’s endorsement.

Vance, who persuaded Trump to hold a last-minute rally for Moreno in Dayton, Ohio, has solidified his position within the Trump inner circle. This could potentially increase Vance’s chances of being selected as Trump’s running mate in 2024. Ironically, should a Trump/Moreno ticket win the election, DeWine would have the opportunity to appoint Dolan as Vance’s successor in the Senate.

The implications of this victory for Ohio and potentially the nation extend beyond 2024. Trump’s ability to maintain the support of his voters, despite the numerous controversies surrounding him in recent years, serves as a warning for the Biden campaign, which is likely to lose some of its 2020 supporters due to poor approval ratings.

Moreno’s win was particularly noteworthy in counties along the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, including Trumbull and Mahoning Counties. These areas were crucial in Trump’s surprising victory in 2016, as they contained a significant number of “Obama to Trump” voters. The similarities between the electorates on both sides of the border indicate that Trump’s base of support remains strong, which bodes poorly for the Democrats.

A Brown loss in the upcoming November election, coupled with the expected Democratic loss of Senator Joe Manchin’s seat in West Virginia, would make it extremely challenging for Democrats to maintain their precarious majority in the Senate.

Despite being portrayed as a weaker opponent for Brown, Moreno’s lack of political experience offers him an opportunity to contrast himself effectively with the long-serving incumbent. Although Brown has been a well-known figure in Ohio since the 1970s, his close association with Biden may negatively impact him among some voters.

The demise of the old Republican guard in Ohio will have far-reaching consequences, particularly when it comes to the search for DeWine’s replacement in 2026. Lt. Governor Jon Husted is the presumed front-runner, but he will face strong competition from the Trump wing of the party. One potential challenger is Ohio native Vivek Ramaswamy, who ran a surprisingly strong campaign for the Republican presidential nomination while acting as a Trump surrogate on the debate stage.

In summary, Tuesday night’s primary results represent a significant turning point in Ohio politics and could shape the political landscape for years to come. Trump’s continued influence over the GOP, as demonstrated by Moreno’s victory, will be a crucial factor in both the 2024 presidential race and beyond.