(Big League Politics) – New polling of Ohio’s contentious GOP primary for the US Senate reveals that author and investor JD Vance is gaining fast on career politician Josh Mandel, suggesting the ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author has a strong path to victory.
New OH-SEN poll by pro-JD Vance super PAC shows Vance closing the gap with Josh Mandel to within 3. Poll conducted by Tony Fabrizio pic.twitter.com/bOpCeFcPAu
— Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex) October 21, 2021
The poll is affiliated with a pro-Vance Super PAC, but veteran GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio has a track record as an accurate and balanced surveyor, with a poll he conducted in April showing Mandel with a twenty point lead. Mandel’s 25% support has since declined to 19%, with Vance leaping from 6% to 16% of likely Republican primary voters.
Vance’s net favorables have increased from 13 to 20, with Mandel’s favorables declining from 33 to 24. Vance’s name ID has increased from 42 to 61, with the author never having run for office before. Mandel has run for state office five times in the last 13 years, with only a modest track record of electoral success.
Five other candidates are running in the Ohio primary, with either of the leading candidates potentially able to pull away if they secure endorsements from the alternative candidates.
Big League Politics revealed in exclusive reporting that Mandel has paid more than $100,000 to his mistress Rachel Wilson between his 2018 campaign for the Senate and a PAC supporting him. At the time, Mandel was married to another woman, raising questions among some Ohio Christian conservatives about the frequent candidate’s ethics. National Republican donors gave Mandel large sums of cash expecting him to be the likely 2018 GOP candidate for Ohio’s Senate seat- only for the longtime politician to drop out and keep the money, with a candidate compelled to step in for him going on to lose a winnable race.
Populists and American nationalists have backed Vance’s candidacy, with Mandel’s precise political philosophy less clear. Vance is one of only of a handful of candidates backed by Fox host Tucker Carlson, along with Arizona US Senate candidate Blake Masters, another populist political outsider.