January 28, 2021

Happy Friday, and welcome to “Buckeye Brawl,” a weekly newsletter from the Ohio Democratic Party highlighting the nasty, chaotic, and expensive Republican primary for Senate. This out-of-control primary is making conservatives “deeply worried” about the prospects of Republicans losing this seat.

As the Republican Senate primary continues to sink lower and lower, these GOP candidates are injecting even more nasty personal attacks, more chaos, and more money into this race. We’re here to help you keep track of all of it.

This week, conservative commentator Erick Erickson said he’s “rather embarrassed to see the insanity in Ohio.”

Here’s what you may have missed:

BUYING THE ELECTION. Mandel has been on a tear this week, going after the entire field at a rally and in an interview with McConnell lackeys on the Ruthless podcast. At his rally, Mandel said, Timken was “pro-impeachment. She defended the impeachment against President Trump. She called the impeachment rational. But she’s extremely wealthy, married into a big steel family and has put millions of dollars into TV.” On Ruthless, he said his opponents are spending tens of millions of dollars and are (at the 1 hour and 6-minute mark) trying to “buy the election.” He went on to call Vance “fake,” said “voters aren’t buying” what Timken is selling and claimed Gibbons is “struggling.” The insults won’t stop flying in this nasty primary. And we have just over 3 months to go!

AUTHENTICALLY PHONY. Jane Timken went after Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance in an interview with the Washington Examiner, saying that they were Johnny-come-latelys on Trump and that “Ohio voters want authenticity.” That’s really rich coming from someone who has changed their opinion on Anthony Gonzalez and Mike DeWine and reinvented their entire political personality in the past year all to try and compete with Josh Mandel. Timken has taken phoniness to a new level and Johnny-come-lately feels a little too nice even for her. Maybe she’s a Jane-come-lately?

POLLING SPATS. The campaigns continue to go after each other for their own internal polls, which could just be another way the leading candidates are trying to stand out to gain Trump’s endorsement. Mike Gibbons’ campaign attacked Bernie Moreno for promoting his internal poll, with a Senior Advisor tweeting, “Bernie Moreno is at 82% with a focus group who were given a Starbucks gift card in exchange for sitting through an hour-long docudrama entitled ‘Bernie Moreno: An all-around great guy.’” A Mike Gibbons consultant went even harsher, saying, “My god. This may be the dumbest thing I have seen in politics. What this says is that 58% of the people who saw his advertising like another candidate, instead. Not a good look.” Well, the only way to settle this is for campaigns to spend even more money on internal polls to make Ohio’s ugliest ever Senate primary even more expensive. Hate to see it!

Thanks for reading along – that’s all for the Buckeye Brawl this week. If you have questions, my email is mbeyer@ohiodems.org. Have a great weekend!