In Ohio Senate Race, Tim Ryan Often Avoids the Word ‘Democrat’
There’s no shortage of high-dollar Democratic candidates who are eyeing the Senate seat held by Ted Strickland.
But a new poll is a new challenge for Rep. Tim Ryan, the charismatic newcomer, who is trying to unseat the incumbent Strickland, a Republican who, at times, can sound almost like Ted Cruz, railing against President Obama at rallies and giving a speech at the Republican National Convention about how a President Hillary Clinton is “not qualified to be our commander in chief.”
A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Columbus Dispatch reveals Ryan has an edge among both likely voters and Republicans who are committed to voting against Strickland, but he falls short among independents who want to see Republicans get back in control of the Senate.
This may be a sign the Republican Party needs to reconsider how it campaigns, in part because Ryan is an anomaly in a party that has mostly been defined by Republicans holding on to the political center, avoiding the divisive fights they face in the media and on the stump like the national Republicans did in the 2016 election, or going against their base and voting for Democratic candidates such as Hillary Clinton in 2016.
He’s not alone, however. Ryan has faced similar challenges in his bid for Ohio’s 5th Congressional District.
“His approach and his campaign have the potential to cause issues for Democrats that can hurt him or help him,” said Joe Rospars, a Republican consultant in North Canton.
“Some might say Ryan is a moderate, but the fact of the matter is that he is an unabashedly liberal Democrat,” Rospars said. “He is anti-abortion, anti-tax, and for the first-time in Ohio history has endorsed same-sex marriage and opposes gun control.”
In fact Ryan’s campaign website even lists “the four words that define Tim Ryan: Democrat.”
The Ryan campaign was founded in 2013 after spending years volunteering for Barack Obama and hoping to one day run for elected office one day. The Ohio native has never held elected office.
But he got a boost from the president on Friday.
“While the race here in Ohio is an important fight for the future of this country, I encourage voters to elect Tim Ryan and his challenger