Takeaways from the Primary Election

On May 3rd, 2022, the primary elections in Ohio and Indiana took place as the former President of the United States–Donald J. Trump–had his status as the “Republican Party Kingmaker” tested. Former President Trump’s chosen candidate, J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy” and one-time investment banker, won the Republican nomination for the primary United States Senate in Ohio. In turn, this gave Trump a strong beginning to the primary season. Former State Treasurer Josh Mandel, businessman Mike Gibbons, and former state GOP chair Jane Timken all vied for the endorsement of Trump, adopting language that mirrored the style of Donald Trump. Vance and Mandel received 50% of the vote combined running as pro-Trump candidates. In the end, Trump chose Vance, who in 2016 said the celebrity businessman could become “America’s Hitler,” but has since become an avid supporter.

With the overturning draft opinion of Roe v. Wade (for more information see “Roe v. Wade Overturn”), the revelation of the Supreme Court leak overshadowed the primary night on Tuesday featuring the first marquee Senate primary of the year. Protests across the country broke out as polls closed in Ohio and Indiana. The results in the two states were significant, offering the first glimpse of the GOP’s emerging shape in a presidential era post-Donald Trump. People in Donald Trump’s orbit are steadily preparing for his domination over the GOP to take a hit in the primary election, scheduled for late May. The candidates that Trump is supporting for governor in Georgia and Idaho are both “running far behind more establishment-minded incumbents,” (Politico). Several other Trump-endorsed candidates are in “toss-up” races, meaning that Trump is not likely to win them. Vance’s victory in the Ohio senate primary was a victory for Trump. Unlike in the Texas primaries, where Trump backed numerous established Republicans, Trump took a risk on Vance.