When J.D. Vance took the stage at a conservative conference last week, it should have prompted sighs of relief from Republicans hoping to see the Ohio GOP’s U.S. Senate nominee hit the campaign trail harder.
There was just one problem: the stage Vance took was in Israel, 6,000 miles away from Ohio.
The spectacle of Vance gushing in Tel Aviv about Israel’s high birth rates—to a friendly audience stocked with plenty of conservatives but almost certainly no Ohio voters—seemed to distill for some Republicans everything that’s wrong with his campaign right now.
Back in the Buckeye State, many are still waiting for Vance to show up, as the most critical phase of the campaign season draws near.
Bill Cunningham, a fixture on conservative talk radio airwaves in Cincinnati for decades, told The Daily Beast that voters, party activists, and even statewide officials are telling him that Vance has been phoning it in. Vance is allegedly missing from many of the county fairs, party meetings, and campaign stops where candidates in this state are expected to be.
“The Republican faithful are telling me,” Cunningham said, “they can’t find J.D. Vance with a search warrant.” [Continue reading…]