Ryan Campaign Reports Raising $9.1M During Q2

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan raised $9.1 million during the second quarter of 2022 for his U.S. Senate campaign.

Ryan, D-13 Ohio, will face venture capitalist and author J.D. Vance, the GOP nominee, for the seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Cincinnati area Republican. 

According to a news release put out by his campaign Friday morning, Ryan’s second quarter take is more than double the previous record for a Senate candidate in Ohio. The campaign also reported that 89,975 new donors contributed to Ryan’s campaign during the three-month period that ended June 30, and contributions averaged just $37.49. More than 97% of contributions were $100 or less.

“As Tim crushes fundraising records and polls show him overtaking serial fraud and San Francisco millionaire JD Vance, there should be no doubt who has the momentum in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race,” Tim for Ohio spokeswoman Jordan Fuja said in the release.

While Republican nominee J.D. Vance “relies on Big Tech billionaires to prop up his campaign, we’re proud to have grassroots support from Ohioans in all 88 counties who know Tim is the only candidate who will fight for them in the Senate,” she added.

The campaign also has $3.56 million cash on hand, campaign spokeswoman Izzi Levy said.

The $9.1 million is “very strong,” said Paul Sracic, chairman of Youngstown State University’s department of politics and international relations.

“It shows you that there’s a lot of people that think this is going to be a real race in Ohio, even though many have sort of written it off as Ohio being a Republican state and Vance being somewhat of a shoo-in,” he continued.  “At least the small donors think that this is going to be a real race.”

More importantly, the fundraising gives Ryan the resources to run “a fairly effective campaign” against Vance, whom he believes still has the advantage in a state that former President Donald Trump won twice. Ryan has been able to run television advertisements early to define Vance as being “too extreme for Ohio,” an approach many Democrats running in swing states are taking, Sracic said.

One problem for Vance is that, despite having written a bestselling book, “Hillbilly Elegy,”he isn’t that well known. “He’s fairly undefined,” he said.

Ryan’s quarterly report comes as new polling shows Ryan slightly ahead of Vance. The poll of likely general election voters conducted by Impact Research, a Democratic polling and strategy firm, showed Ryan at 48%, Vance at 46% and 6% undecided.

The same poll, which was conducted following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, showed Ryan with a net favorability of 11 percentage points, with 46% viewing him favorably and 35% unfavorably. In contrast, Vance was at 38% favorability and 49% unfavorability, a net negative 11 points.

Last week, Center Street PAC released a poll showing Ryan with 49% to Vance’s 40%, while most other polls show a tighter race between the two candidates. An Innovation Ohio poll released Thursday showed Ryan leading Vance 44% to 41%, while a USA Today/Suffolk University survey conducted in late May had Vance leading, 42% to 39%.

Sracic acknowledged Ryan’s recent poll numbers might be “juiced” by opponents of the Roe ruling, and concerns over inflation and the economy will “probably limit some of the pain to Republicans” from the decision nearer to the election,

Another issue Vance faces is two-thirds of the voters in the GOP primary voted for someone else, Sracic said.

“So he’s got to unify the party around him, and until he does that, his poll numbers aren’t going to rise,” he said. “I think you will see Republicans coming home as you get closer and closer to the election and that’s going to be a problem for the Ryan campaign.”

At the time of this posting, the Vance campaign had not responded to a request for information regarding its second-quarter fundraising.

Pictured: In this file photo from April 26, 2021, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan announces his bid for Rob Portman’s Senate seat.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.