J.D. Vance becomes Ohio GOP Senate primary frontrunner: poll

Vance's edge is still within the margin of error.

Updated: April 26, 2022 - 9:17pm

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Author J.D. Vance is now the frontrunner in the Ohio Republican Senate primary race, putting him ahead of earlier top contenders former state treasurer Josh Mandel and businessman Mike Gibbons, according to a Fox News poll released Tuesday.

Although one-quarter of Republican voters say they are still unsure for whom they will vote in the May 3 primary, Vance takes the lead over the other candidates with the support of 23% of voters, up 12 points since March.

The poll comes after former President Donald Trump endorsed the "Hillbilly Elegy" author earlier this month. Trump's backing resulted in millions of dollars in donations to Vance's campaign.

Mandel, who also sought Trump's support, comes in second with 18%, down 2 points from last month.

Gibbons' support dropped more than any other candidate, going from 22% in March to 13%. 

Vance's edge over the other nominees may not be guaranteed, however, as his 5-point advantage is within the survey's margin of error. The 25% of undecided voters may swing toward another candidate as well. Fox highlighted that "half of those currently supporting a candidate say they could change their mind."

Trump's endorsement made 42% of GOP primary voters more supportive of Vance, according to the poll.

Trump won Ohio in 2016 and 2020 by 8 points in both years.

Mandel has been criticized by Donald Trump Jr., who called him a "pro-China group funding career politician."

Trump Jr. joined his father in endorsing Vance.

"JD stands with MAGA on using tariffs against China, while Mandel is owned by the weak on China RINO establishment," he wrote on Twitter.