U.S. Senate race in Ohio is a tight one, candidates Ryan and Vance would have to agree

DAYTON — While U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and challenger J.D. Vance agree to disagree on just about everything, one fact about their race for the U.S. Senate is clear -- it’s tight as early voting for the 2022 Midterm Elections begins Wednesday.

Tuesday, the two gave their only TV interviews in the state to News Center 7′s Molly Koweek.

“I feel really good,” Vance, the Republican, said.

“I feel great,” Ryan, the Democrat, said.

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Marc Clauson, history and law professor at Cedarville University, said, Senate races are always big deals because there are only two members from each state.

“So, you know, every, every one of them counts.”

He explained the importance of taking over the seat of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who decided not to run for re-election.

Portman is finishing his turn in a Senate that is split 50-50.

“It’s one of those seats that the Republicans absolutely need if they’re going to get a majority,” Clauson said. “If they can’t get a Republican, here in Ohio, then it doesn’t look good for them getting Republicans in other states, which are less Republican leaning than Ohio.”

Koweek studied four recent polls, which show a close race.

“No polling is perfect,” Clauson said. “It’s just, it is a best guess in the end, but not a certainty.”

The professor said he is confident voter turnout in Ohio will be higher than the roughly 56 percent that turned out in the last Midterm Election. One reason is the economy, which affects every voter.

Ryan said, “Continuing to rebuild the middle class. I think that’s the source of American power. It’s always been the great American middle class, and we need, we need to rebuild it.”

Vance said, “We have to really open up America’s energy markets, get our gas prices down, get our electricity down, which will get everything from food, to home utility bills going in the right direction. So in other words, you open up the energy markets and you start to solve the inflation problems in this country.”

The two are split on how to handle women’s reproductive rights.

Ryan thinks things should return to the way they were -- before the U.S. Supreme Court decision this year.

“I mean, it worked for 50 years,” he said.

Vance wants a national minimum standard. He suggested allowing abortions up until five months into a pregnancy, but wants states to decide the issue.

“My basic view is, Ohio is going to want to have a different law from California, and Ohio should be able to make its own decisions.”

Ohio currently has one Democrat and one Republican senator. Ohioans have picked the Republican candidate in the last two presidential elections.

“I do think that it’s trending red, in part because, you know, like a lot of my family, a lot of working class democrats, feel like the democratic party in ohio has abandoned them,” Vance said.

Clauson said he believes Ohio is somewhere between purple and red.

Ryan: “I think Ohio’s an economic state. I think sometimes democrats talk about issues, republicans now too, issues that just aren’t relevant to the vast majority of the state, and my focus has been on the economic well-being of people.”

Clauson, while saying Senate races in particular are really hard to predict, said Vance is gaining ground and predicted he will win.