Tim Ryan turned his race into a surprising battleground for the Senate. Now comes the hard part.

The lead so far has been the product of a one-sided campaign: Ryan has spent more than $8 million on advertising since May, including $6.5 million on television. But until this week, the Vance campaign was AWOL from the airwaves for that entire time. Ryan has also been far ahead of Vance in the cash dash, thanks to an aggressive small-dollar donation campaign.

The outcome of the Ohio race has high stakes for the 2022 midterm elections. The Senate is perfectly balanced at 50-50, and Democrats have enjoyed solid polling in top swing state races despite a challenging political environment. Adding another seriously competitive, GOP-held seat to the list of battleground races in the fall could help control the chamber next year.

Ironically, the proliferation of negative stories surrounding Vance’s campaign in recent weeks — that he’s struggling with fundraising and that his own party is questioning whether Ryan is taking it out on the airwaves – May have had a net positive effect on the Venus campaign. Fundraising has picked up since then, and national Republicans have begun buying ads in the race.

On Thursday, Vance joined Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he raised nearly $300,000 at a golf fundraiser, according to a person with knowledge of the event. .

Donors who had been on the sidelines since the primary have suddenly started writing checks, a Vance ally said. And after a bitter initial battle, Vance’s past adversaries are now stepping up to support him. Jane Timkin just held a fundraiser for Vance, and the campaign is now scheduling additional events with Josh Mendel and Mike Gibbons.

This week, One Nation, the nonprofit part of the external spending machine aligned with the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced a $3.8 million ad buy in the Ohio Senate race. That follows a nearly $1 million television buy that was launched this week as a campaign contribution between Vance and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

In an interview with OlxPraca, Ryan said national Republicans are “nervous” about Vance’s prospects and are pushing back on the idea that his internal polling supports his campaign.

“We have a lot of room to grow,” Ryan said. “In a lot of ways, this race has gotten stronger.” He added: “It’s just going to be about how many more Republicans we get in the next three months. And can draw independent voters.”

On that front, Ryan is still moving forward. Sen is retiring. Rob PortmanFormer Chief of Staff John Bridgeland, former director of George W. Bush’s Domestic Policy Council, is expected to write an endorsement of Ryan in Sunday’s edition of the Cincinnati Inquirer, as well as will also join the state Republican Party. rolodex, OlxPraca has learned.

“Tim is spending time in every county in Ohio, including heavily Republican counties in Southwest Ohio,” Bridgeland told OlxPraca. “He’s really listening to people, wanting to know what their concerns are. And J.D. Vance is tearing people down. And the last thing this country needs right now is more people who are at the worst of human nature. Scattering the dimensions.

Ryan’s internal polling also shows him making inroads with independent candidates: it shows him by 20 points with those voters. According to the poll, Vance also has 85 percent name recognition and a 50 percent unfavorable rating following an ugly and expensive Republican primary. Ryan, who enjoyed a smooth ride for his party’s nomination, found himself with 80 percent name recognition and a 36 percent unfavorable rating).

But Republicans on the ground in Ohio and national operatives in D.C. say they believe the liberal congressman will fall dramatically as Vance hits the airwaves with positive pitches, especially when Ryan is a Republican-leaning candidate. The state will start experiencing attack ads.

“The disparity in cash between the two candidates is worrisome,” said a person familiar with One Nation’s decision to buy ad time in Ohio, but he expects Vance to win “if he makes up some of that gap.” Take it.”

Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC that backed Vance in the primary with $15 million from Thiel, will spend on Vance’s behalf again during the general election, according to a person familiar with the group’s plans. Thiel has not yet said whether he will cut another check, but the super PAC has added new donors and plans to spend seven figures on Venus this fall.

“In terms of what’s to come, I believe he’s probably at his high-water mark now,” Putnam County Republican Party Chairman Tony Schroeder said, referring to Ryan. Frankly, we are in an age where people are not paying full attention. When the engagement comes around, there will be nothing that can help Tim Ryan.

Vance has hit the campaign trail in Ohio several times this summer, including visits to events at the Conservative Political Action Conference. But in addition to addressing crowds of activists, the tours have also served as fundraising opportunities. On Friday, before speaking in Dallas at CPAC Texas, Vance headlined the organization’s donor breakfast. He also held one-on-one meetings in the donor-heavy city, as he did last month when he traveled to Tel Aviv for CPAC Israel.

“A lot of this is bed-wetting in the middle of the summer,” a person close to the campaign said, citing how unpopular President Joe Biden is in Ohio and Republican ads linking Ryan to the president. Will try.

During her speech Friday, Vance urged people in the audience to sign up to make calls and knock on doors for her campaign, blasting Ryan as a “weak, fake congressman.” His comments indicated that Democrats still have a fight to win disillusioned voters, “whether they’re conservative, whether they vote Republican every time — people who just want a good life in the country they live in.” was made by his grandfather and great-grandfather.”

A campaign spokeswoman said Vance was not available for an interview Friday while in CPAC Texas.

Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Leverchuk said he first met Vance last month when Vance was traveling the state visiting individually with law enforcement leaders. Leverchick took office as a Democrat in 2011, but changed his voter registration to Republican last year. An Obama-Trump county, Ottawa backed Trump for a second term in 2020 as its longtime bellwether.

Leverchick said that for now, he plans to cast his vote for Vance this fall, suggesting there is distrust for Ryan in some law enforcement circles.

“Is he more right than some people want him to be? Maybe,” Leverchuk said of Vance. “But when you only have two candidates to choose from, you have to weigh who is best suited to represent you.”