https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/vance-deflects-question-mcconnell-leadership-vote

Senate candidate J.D. Vance (R-OH) deflected when asked if he would vote for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as Senate GOP leader if he wins his election.

During a town hall on Fox News, Vance offered a qualified response, addressing only a situation in which McConnell is the sole person in the running.

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“I expect to win this Senate seat. I’m certainly working my rear end off for the next seven days to win this Senate seat. If Mitch McConnell is the only person that runs, that makes it a very easy decision, OK? We’ll see what happens when I get to Washington, D.C., but at the end of the day, I’m going to represent the people of Ohio, and I plan to be an independent voice for the people of Ohio,” Vance said.

Vance has received tens of millions of dollars in support from the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund. The super PAC notably came to the rescue for Vance in August when his opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), gained traction in polls and fundraising.

Vance previously told the Washington Examiner he expects McConnell to easily win support among his peers to become the No. 1-ranking Senate Republican but would not commit to voting for the longtime GOP leader.

The Senate race between Vance and Ryan is currently rated as “leans GOP” by RealClearPolitics, with Vance leading by 2 percentage points per the RealClearPolitics polling average.

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Republican Senate candidates are surging in polls across the country and are now slightly favored to win a majority in the Senate by FiveThirtyEight, meaning the top Republican in the next Senate will likely be the majority leader. Republicans need only a net gain of one seat to take control of the upper chamber.

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