• Mon. Jun 5th, 2023


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Tim Ryan Will be the Democrats’ Nominee for Senate in Ohio

Representative Tim Ryan cruised to victory in the Democratic primary election for Senate in his state, running in a moderate lane focused on tackling jobs, manufacturing and taking on China.

Mr. Ryan’s victory, called by The Associated Press, came as little surprise. He had long been considered the clear front-runner in the contest for the seat of Senator Rob Portman, an establishment Republican who is retiring.

But Mr. Ryan faced a challenger to his left in Morgan Harper, a progressive lawyer. She attacked him over his donations from energy companies and championed policies like “Medicare for All” and an overhaul of the conservative-dominated Supreme Court.

Mr. Ryan, a onetime presidential candidate who has long sought to appeal to blue-collar workers in northeastern Ohio, visited all 88 counties in the state in a bet that voters of all leanings were tired of far-right and far-left positions in American politics. He sought to appeal to the “exhausted majority,” a phrase coined by researchers to describe the estimated two-thirds of voters who are less polarized and who feel overlooked.

He has been waiting in the wings, as a crowded Republican campaign has at times turned ugly. The candidates aggressively pursued Donald J. Trump’s endorsement before the former president threw his support to J.D. Vance, and they took aim at undocumented immigrants, transgender youths’ participation in sports and teachings on race and gender in schools.

Yet Mr. Ryan also drew criticism for fear-mongering in some of his messaging, including in his first television commercial. It centered on the nation’s fight to beat China on manufacturing, but some Asian advocacy groups and elected officials described the ad as racist and called on him to take it down.

Mr. Ryan condemned anti-Asian violence but did not back down, saying that he had been speaking specifically about government policies under the Chinese Communist Party that have hurt Ohio workers.

His chances of success in the general election in the fall are considered relatively low, given a national political environment that is unfriendly to his party and the increasingly conservative tilt of Ohio, which voted for Mr. Trump in the last two presidential elections.

But an upset victory by Mr. Ryan could carry lessons for national Democrats in the Midwest on how to counter the appeal of Trumpism and win back white working-class voters who used to form a large part of the Democratic base in the industrial heart of the country.