The lead is a product of a lopsided campaign so far: Ryan spent more than $8 million on advertisements, including $6.5 million on television since May. But until this week, Vance’s campaign had been AWOL from the airwaves for that entire time. Ryan has also remained far ahead of Vance in the cash dash, in part thanks to an aggressive small-dollar donation campaign.
The outcome of the Ohio race has major stakes for the 2022 midterms. The Senate is finely balanced at 50-50, and Democrats have enjoyed a summer of solid polling in top swing-state races despite the challenging political environment. Adding another seriously competitive, GOP-held seat to the list of battleground races in the fall could tip control of the chamber next year.
Ironically, the spate of negative stories surrounding Vance’s campaign in recent weeks — that he is struggling with fundraising and his own party is questioning whether Ryan is out-hustling him on the airwaves — may have had a net positive effect on Vance’s campaign. Fundraising has picked up since, and national Republicans have stepped in to start buying ads in the race.
On Thursday, Vance joined Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he raised roughly $300,000 holding a golf fundraiser, according to a person with knowledge of the event.