Trump-backed Bernie Moreno wins Ohio Republican Senate race: NBC News

Trump-backed Bernie Moreno wins Ohio Republican Senate race: NBC News

U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno, Republican of Ohio, speaks before former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage during a Buckeye Values ​​PAC rally in Vandalia, Ohio, March 16, 2024.

Kamil Krzaczynski | Afp | Getty Images

Donald Trump-backed businessman Bernie Moreno will win Ohio’s Republican Senate primary, NBC News predicts, setting up a high-stakes November contest against incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.

“What we need to do now is understand as a fully united party that we have a mission, which is to get rid of Sherrod Brown,” Moreno said in a victory speech in suburban Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Moreno’s primary opponent was state Sen. Matt Dolan, who secured the support of Ohio’s popular Republican Gov. Mike DeWine early last week. Secretary of State Frank LaRose also took part in the election, but finished a solid third place, outperformed by his wealthier competitors.

Moreno’s victory sends an early message for this election year: Trump’s MAGA cachet could have a power in 2024 that it didn’t have a few years ago.

“I wear it with honor. My support of the president, but President Trump, I wear it with a badge of honor,” Moreno said.

In 2020, Trump lost the White House to President Joe Biden and the GOP lost both chambers of Congress. In 2022, many Trump-backed candidates underperformed in key elections, even though Republicans narrowly took back the House of Representatives.

With memories of that patchy track record still fresh, the Ohio race was seen as a test of whether the former president’s support had renewed influence on the Republican establishment this election year.

The success of Moreno, 57, a politically inexperienced entrepreneur who made his living as a luxury car dealer and blockchain investor, over career politician Dolan strengthens Trump’s comeback thesis.

“It’s obvious that Donald Trump’s support for Bernie Moreno was a key factor,” Dolan told reporters after conceding the race to Moreno.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Bernie Moreno of Ohio during a rally at Dayton International Airport on March 16, 2024 in Vandalia, Ohio.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

With Tuesday’s primary behind schedule, Moreno’s campaign is now moving into general election mode as the Republican Party hopes he will unseat Sen. Brown and help regain control of the Senate.

Republicans are already arguing over whether Moreno can flip the seat to Democrats. Especially after he faced backlash following an Associated Press report that linked his email address to a 2008 account on a casual sex website that was looking for “men for 1-on-1 sex.”

Moreno’s attorney later released a statement saying a former intern of Moreno’s created the account as a prank.

In the days leading up to the Senate election, a Democratic PAC spent millions on ads aimed at boosting Moreno. This reflected Democrats’ belief that it would be easier for Brown to beat Moreno in November than for Dolan.

Ohio has gotten redder in recent election cycles, with Trump winning the state in 2016 and 2020. The Republican Party is trying to capitalize on the Buckeye State’s red wave to help the party regain control of the Senate.

“Ohio may be one of the states that decides who controls the United States Senate,” Gov. Mike DeWine said Sunday. “So there’s a lot at stake in this election.”

Source link

2024-03-20 01:57:53