Pundits intrigued by Ohio's shift to the right

Pundits intrigued by Ohio's shift to the right

Pundits intrigued by Ohio's shift to the right

A conservative activist in Ohio is suggesting that a large number of Democrats may have crossed over and voted in Tuesday's Republican primary in hopes of advancing the most "Democrat-like" candidates to the general election.

The big story out of Ohio's GOP primary was how JD Vance rode Donald Trump's endorsement to victory, winning over second-place Josh Mandel by more than eight points. In mid-April, Vance trailed Mandel – a former state treasurer – in the polls by five points. The GOP hopeful now will face incumbent Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan in the general election in November.

During an appearance on the Fox News Channel, political analyst Karl Rove pointed out the dramatic increase in Republican voter turnout in Ohio's Senate and gubernatorial primaries on Tuesday.

"It looks like the Republican turnout this year will be coming close to 1.2 million," he noted. "So, think about that: nearly a 50% increase since four years ago. The Democrat turnout? It will be lucky to get to 600,000."

That, said Rove, shows the state "has moved dramatically … in a Republican direction" over the last four to six years.

Zawistowski, Tom (We the People Convention) Zawistowski

But Tom Zawistowski, president of the Ohio-based We the People Convention, offers another theory about the dramatic Republican overvote.

"There was a news article that came out right before the election that said the Democrats were going to cross over and vote in the Republican primary for [Governor] Mike DeWine and for [Senate candidate] Matt Dolan because they consider them to be the most Democrat-like candidates," he explains to AFN.

"So, these 228,000 votes that came in in the governor's race – were those votes actually from Democrats for Mike DeWine?" he wonders. "I don't know how we can figure that out, but I thought that was very interesting that there was such a large overvote in the governor's race."

Meanwhile, a political analyst who had predicted Vance's victory now predicts the GOP candidate – should he win the in November – probably would be more conservative than the Republican he would replace, Senator Rob Portman.

Chambers, Rob (AFA Action) Chambers

"And probably more so. I would predict more so," Rob Chambers, vice president of AFA Action. "We saw where Rob Portman went squishy on LGBT-type issues. I don't think we're going to see that with JD Vance, however."

And like Rove, Chambers sees Ohio turning more Red. "When it comes to a Senate voting history, there is a trend that it has gone Republican since 1998," he says, pointing out that three congressional districts in the state that were traditionally Democratic have flipped to Republican.

Editor's Note: AFA Action is an affiliate of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.