In Ohio, support for Trump has already been a great boon for JD Vance, who fell behind in polls before Trump’s intervention.

DELAVER, Ohio – The late endorsements of former President Donald Trump at the highly competitive Republican primaries in the Senate in Ohio and Pennsylvania have sparked a flood of support for his chosen candidate, including millions in cash.

But the approvals also drew a backlash from some Republicans who believe Trump has betrayed his main supporters by supporting The author of “Hillbilly Elegy” J. D. Vance in Ohio and TV Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. Both candidates have been criticized for time spent outside their states and insufficiently committed to the former president and his “America First” agenda.

The response included calls from a major conservative group linked to Vance’s rival to boycott Trump’s rally in Delaware, Ohio, on Saturday night, where he urged his supporters to follow Vance, calling him “the man with the best chance of defeating the candidate.” Democrats to the U.S. Senate in November this year. ”

“If you want to convey America’s historic first victory here in Ohio, as well as a historic defeat for the people who are destroying our country, JD Vance is your boyfriend,” he told the crowd.

It is unclear whether Trump’s support will be enough to pull Vance and Oz through the finish line in the race, which will be a key early test of the former president’s influence in this year’s by-elections. But the approvals pose a risk to Trump, who has put his Republican leadership status on his ability to mobilize his supporters as he awaits another White House nomination in 2024.

In Ohio, Trump’s support has already been a great boon for Vance, who lagged behind in polls before Trump’s intervention. While allies acknowledge that Trump’s announcement at 5pm on Good Friday, less than three weeks before the May 3 primary election, may not have been the most desirable moment, the campaign nonetheless reported an increase in online donations at 300% – most of the new donors.

Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC that supports Vance, said it has brought in $ 5 million since Trump’s approval, including a $ 3.5 million check from venture capitalist Peter Till.

Both groups are using the money to broadcast a new ad voicing support for Trump, which they expect will take place exclusively in the rest of the campaign.

“We want to make sure 100% of people know about it. And we will do everything for that, “said Luke Thompson, who runs the super PAC, who found that Vance’s support increases when voters learn that he is Trump’s choice.

Ohio’s strategists and rivals have long acknowledged support for Trump, who remains very popular with Republican voters, despite his defeat in the 2020 election and his role in inciting the Capitol uprising on Jan. 6 likely to bring any candidate to the fore. Vance’s aides believe the approval is particularly useful for his candidate, given that the main line of attack against him has been criticism of Trump in the past.

Trump made these comments on Saturday night, joking that if he refused to support anyone who criticized him, he would have no one to support.

“Eventually, I put that aside,” he said. “I have to do what I have to do. We have to choose the one who can win. “

But the approval caused deep dissatisfaction among those who support Vance’s rivals who launched fierce, last effort last week to try to change Trump’s mind. Trump has urged his supporters to unite around Vance, but Vance’s main rivals, including the Trump-focused Growth Club, which supports former Treasurer Josh Mandela, are still refusing to resign. Instead, they continued to show commercials against Vance, sparking anger, particularly from Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who campaigned for Vance and is due to return to the state on Monday for the full day of events.

The conservative Ohio Value Voters, which also backed Mandela, called for a boycott of Trump’s rally on Saturday, saying Trump had made a “terrible decision” and urged those present to hang Vance when he was introduced.

The state tea party, which overwhelmingly supports Trump, also planned to protest in the streets.

“For his support of JD Vance, it really seemed that President Trump was unaware of what was happening in Ohio and what his supporters wanted,” said Tom Zawistowski, the group’s leader.

Zavistovsky warned that the approval could lead to the division of Trump’s support base at the state primaries between Vance, Mandela and Cleveland banker Mike Gibbons. He said it could pave the way for victory for former Republican Speaker Jane Timken or even moderate Sen. Matt Dolan, the only candidate in the race who has not promised to support Trump and his position in the event of an election.

So far, some voters are on Trump’s side.

Linda Davidson, a retired financial adviser from Kirtland, said Trump’s approval “very” crystallized her vote for Vance.

“I was actually waiting. I couldn’t decide, ”she said after an event in the Cleveland suburbs on Wednesday. “I was kind of confused about who to vote for.”

But at a Mandela event near Cleveland on Thursday, Janine Hammock, chairwoman of the Strongsville Republican Party’s election campaign, said Trump’s approval “not at all” would affect her vote.

“We love Trump. It always will be, ”she said, adding that she is convinced that the former president“ has his reasons ”for choosing Vance, but she knows Mandela better.

In Pennsylvania, Oz has been watching a similar bump ever since Trump’s unexpected approval on April 9 in his close race against former hedge fund CEO David McCormick. The week after Trump’s approval was the best week of digital fundraising for the Oz country since launching his campaign late last year, with the company bringing in nearly three times more money than the week before, campaign chief Casey Contress said.

Some supporters acknowledge that Oz could still lose the May 17 primaries with Trump’s support, but argue that without him he most likely would not have been able to win. His team has changed its advertising strategy for television and digital presentations to focus on the former president’s statement.

“It changes the game,” said John Fredericks, a talk radio host who urged Trump to support the famous doctor.

“Trump’s approval gave people a chance to stop, think and go, ‘Wait.’ I’ve seen this guy on TV help people 30 years old. Trump sees this too. And now I’ll look again, “said Fredericks.

Oz acknowledged his influence during a virtual town hall that Trump held Friday night to garner support for his candidate.

“Mr. President, there are many voters who are enthusiastic about you who said they came to me because of your support,” Oz said before asking Trump if he would like to “alleviate people’s fears” by vouching for Oz’s conservative powers.

This was a testament to the fact that Trump’s approval of a man who has little history with the Republican Party – not to mention Pennsylvania, after living in New Jersey for the past two decades – has destroyed party activists who do not sell to Oz and believe he is not conservative enough on issues such as guns and abortion.

While some county party officials said the approval no longer divided Republicans than they had before, given the main field with seven candidates, some county party officials reported a wave of angry calls.

“Conservative Trump is very upset with his support, and they can’t understand that,” said Arnold McClure, chairman of the Republican Party in Huntingdon Rural District, where Trump won 75 percent of the vote in 2020. “The Trump era in Pennsylvania is over because of his approval of Dr. Oz.

“Trump’s priorities were clear tonight – spending more time promoting his own ambitions in 2024 than focusing on his dim, fake U.S. Senate candidate in 2022,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Michael Bayer.

“The entire race in the Senate from the Ohio Republican Party focused solely on Trump’s approval, not on how any of these Republicans could improve the lives of Ohio residents,” Democratic Senate nominee Morgan Harper wrote in a statement.

“Ohio’s choice is either to look back or to meet today’s challenges with conservative policies that reduce inflation, secure borders and oppose China to build a stronger future for Ohio,” said the Republican Senate. USA. candidate Matt Dolan.

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