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Trump looks to score a win in Ohio

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 The Big Story 

Republican voters in Ohio are heading to the polls to decide which Senate candidate will go on to face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in the November election.

© AP

Former President Trump’s trip to Ohio over the weekend wasn’t just a rally for his own presidential campaign — he was trying to build up support for Bernie Moreno, his chosen candidate in the GOP Senate primary.

 

Moreno, a businessman, faces two other candidates — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan — in the Tuesday election. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) has held the seat since 2007, and polls have found him with a slight edge over each of the potential Republican challengers.

 

Trump jumping in to bolster Moreno’s campaign signals the importance seen in Ohio, as Republicans hope to regain control of the Senate and give Trump a second term. It also could give insight into whether Trump’s clout has the same weight as it did when his chosen candidate — J.D. Vance — won his Senate race there two years ago.

 

“You gotta win, Bernie,” Trump said during Saturday’s rally. “Don’t leave me alone. Don’t leave me alone, Bernie.”

 

The GOP primary has been especially nasty in the final stretch, splintering the Republican base.

 

While Moreno has support from Trump and a coterie of MAGA Republicans, including Vance, Dolan has the backing of Ohio’s GOP establishment figures, including Gov. Mike DeWine and former Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican who opted not to seek reelection in 2023.

 

An Emerson College poll of likely Ohio GOP voters conducted Sunday and Monday found Moreno with a strong lead at 38 percent support to Dolan’s 29 percent.

 

Just 12 percent of the voters surveyed said they planned to cast their ballots for LaRose.

 

Essential Reads 

Key election stories and other recent campaign coverage:

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Progressive Rep. Katie Porter says she regrets calling the recent California Senate primary “rigged” after losing the closely watched Democratic contest to Rep. Adam Schiff. Porter sparked backlash for using the word that has become associated with Republican-led conspiracy theories and inflammatory rhetoric about election interference to characterize the outside influx of megadonor money into the race on Schiff’s behalf.  …

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The Countdown 

Upcoming news themes and events we’re watching:

  • 118 days until the Republican National Convention

  • 153 days until the Democratic National Convention

  • 231 days until the 2024 general election

On Our Watch 

© AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

A Democratic Super PAC is urging the party to focus on voter engagement in swing state suburbs ahead of the general election to increase Democrats’ chances of beating former President Donald Trump

 

The group, Forward Majority, pointed to former GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s performance with suburban voters in North Carolina, Minnesota, Virginia and Colorado to show the importance of voter engagement in battleground districts. The group argued Haley’s performance in those regions could help inform the party’s efforts to secure President Biden’s reelection and success in down-ballot races in its new report, first shared with The Hill. 

 

Forward Majority argued the majority white, high income counties where Haley won and experienced close losses in the GOP primary “strongly reflect” the suburban counties in battleground states, concluding “Trump is beatable” in those areas of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.   

 

“Voters in the suburbs will be the ones deciding the 2024 presidential election, our state legislative leaders and the future of our democracy,” Forward Majority founder & co-CEO Vicky Hausman said in a statement to The Hill. 

 

Where Democratic voter turnout efforts are concentrated in areas where the base is solid, like college campuses and cities, the group argued turning those efforts toward suburbs in battleground districts presents a “huge” opportunity to find new voters.

 

There are more than 2 million likely Democratic voters in battleground districts that “need” to be registered, according to the group’s analysis. Therefore, investments in swing districts of Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania will give Democrats a boost in upcoming elections 

 

“That’s why Forward Majority is on-the-ground, driving voter engagement in these battleground districts in PA, MI and AZ,” Hausman said. “These races will come down to the thinnest of margins, and Democrats cannot afford to leave votes on the table.”

 

— Filip Timotija

In Other News 

Branch out with a different read from The Hill:

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Sarah Matthews, an ex-staffer of former President Trump, said his recent warning of a “blood bath” for the U.S. if he doesn’t win in November follows a “proven track record” of “unhinged comments.” “[I]t does follow a proven track record of these kinds of unhinged comments from him, and an increasingly violent rhetoric, and apocalyptic rhetoric, almost.” Matthews said Monday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Inside with …

Around the Nation 

Local and state headlines regarding campaigns and elections:

  • DeSantis, Florida Republicans escalate talk of threats posed by migrants (Tampa Bay Times)

  • They counted primary ballots by hand. Now a Texas county Republican party says they found errors. (Texas Tribune)

  • For third-straight year, ballot initiative likely dead in Mississippi (Mississippi Today)

What We’re Reading 

Election news we’ve flagged from other outlets:

  • Trump Rules Out Vivek Ramaswamy as Running Mate as He Eyes New Team (Bloomberg)

  • Behind Trump’s campaign cash crunch: Small-dollar donor fatigue, major donor hesitation (CNBC)

  • Outside Groups Pledge Over $1 Billion to Aid Biden’s Re-election Effort (New York Times)

Elsewhere Today 

Key stories on The Hill right now:

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The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday that a man’s challenge to his former placement on the No Fly List can move forward, finding the government failed to show his lawsuit is moot. Yonas Fikre, a U.S. citizen who previously resided in Sudan, claimed his placement on the list was unlawful and sued the FBI. The government later removed … Read more

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Former President Trump called the nearly half-billion-dollar bond set in his New York civil fraud case “unConstitutional” and “un-American” Monday. Just hours earlier, his lawyers informed the court that the former president was unable to secure the full $464 million bond due next week. “A bond of the size set by the Democrat … Read more

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