Trump faces test in Ohio Senate primary

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Three high-profile Republican contenders will be duking it out Tuesday to win the GOP nod to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in November – businessman Bernie Moreno, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan.


Moreno has notched endorsements from former President Donald Trump, Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio); meanwhile, Dolan has received backing from Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and former Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) — creating a proxy war between those aligned with the former president and more establishment Republicans.


The primary will also test whether Trump, now the GOP presidential nominee, holds enough sway within the party to help make or break candidates in their primaries.


The Ohio Senate race represents one of Republicans’ best pickup opportunities for the party. Brown and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) are the only two Senate Democrats running for reelection who represent states Trump won in 2020.


Voters in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Kansas will also join those in Ohio as they head to the polls next week to cast ballots for presidential primaries and a handful of congressional races.


Polling has shown a tight race when Brown is placed in hypothetical matchups with each Republican, but recent surveys show Dolan performing the best among his challengers.


An Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey released Wednesday found Brown leading Dolan 37 percent to 34 percent, just outside of the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. Meanwhile, Brown leads Moreno 39 percent to 34 percent, and the poll also shows Brown leading LaRose 39 percent to 33 percent.


Trump is expected to campaign for Moreno this weekend, while Vance is set to campaign with Moreno between Sunday and Tuesday.


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