Former President Trump’s endorsement about 10 days ago has reportedly result in surge of campaign donations for Ohio GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance, who was behind in the polls and fundraising before Trump’s backing.
The Vance campaign reports a 300% increase in online donations – a majority from new donors, the Associated Press reports Monday.
In addition, Protect Ohio Values, the super PAC supporting Vance, said it had brought in $5 million since Trump’s April 15 endorsement, including a $3.5 million check from venture capitalist Peter Thiel.
However, with the May 3 primary just days away, it’s unclear whether Trump’s backing will help Vance – the “Hillbilly Elegy” author turned venture capitalist – overtake frontrunner and former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who also sought Trump’s support, and investment banker candidate Mike Gibbons.
They are competing for the seat left open by retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman.
Mandel leads by 1.7 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics.com polling average.
Vance also must overcome voter displeasure over his inconsistent support of the former president and his “America First” policy agenda.
“Ultimately, I put that aside,” Trump said at a rally Saturday for Vance, who was reportedly booed by some in attendance. “I have to do what I have to do. We have to pick somebody that can win.”