Along with neighboring Pennsylvania, the Ohio Senate race is to fill a seat being vacated by a Republican. With a 50-50 split right now, the GOP can ill afford to lose either to the Democrats.
Donald Trump endorsed JD Vance (pictured), a political newcomer who won the Ohio Republican primary over a more politically seasoned opponent. But according to a Suffolk University poll released early last month, his Democratic opponent, Congressman Tim Ryan, only trails him by three points.
Ryan is polling well despite President Biden's abysmal approval ratings and far-left policies that are angering many Americans. But Tom Zawistowski, president of the tea party-affiliated We the People Convention, does not think the race is actually that close.
"These polls are propaganda," he notes. "This is the time when they do that, so everyone should forget the polls. They're absolutely meaningless at this point; they're purely propaganda."
The tea party leader is, however, concerned that Ryan is currently outcampaigning Vance.
"Ryan has been on TV like everywhere, and he's doing these ads where he actually shows Trump but not Biden," Zawistowski reports. "If you watch Ryan's ads, you would think he's a Trump conservative. That's what he's trying to put forward. What's unsettling to us is that so far – these have been running for six weeks – there's been absolutely no response from the Vance campaign. They haven't run a single ad. That's very frightening."
Zawistowski is concerned about Vance's ability to run a campaign. But when Joe Biden visited Cleveland last week, Tim Ryan and Nan Whaley, (D) the latter of whom is running for governor of Ohio, were visibly absent – adding to the growing perception that the president is politically toxic within his own party.
"I don't know of any Democratic candidate, in the primary season particularly, who appeared with Biden anywhere," Zawistowski notes. "The Democratic Party knows he's an anchor around their necks. His policies are killing them, and so quite frankly, it's smart politics for Ryan to stay away and for Whaley to stay away."
But in Ryan's case, the tea party leader says no amount of physical distance will change the Senate hopeful's voting record.
"Ryan has voted for everything that Biden wanted – everything that Biden's done to us that they could vote for in House," Zawistowski reports. "Ryan is still a member of the U.S. House. He's voted 100% for the Biden agenda, so I don't know how he thinks he can run and hide simply by not showing up at this one event."
Still, he says skipping the Cleveland event was a smart move for both Ryan and Whaley.