Less than two weeks before Election Day, the Ohio Senate race proves unbelievably competitive between Democrat Tim Ryan and Republican J.D. Vance.
This round of congressional elections has the chamber’s bipartisan balance in a toss-up, and the outcome of Ohio’s Senate race is one of the major deciding factors.
With the pressing political matters plaguing Ohioans and no certainty of how the race will turn out, the anticipation is reaching new heights as Nov. 8 draws near.
Ryan and Vance faced off in a contentious debate on Oct. 10, during which they were asked about their stances on the issues concerning Ohioans the most, beginning with inflation.
The State of the Economy
The matter of utmost concern amongst Ohioans is the current state of the economy as inflation reaches a new high. Each candidate was asked to share their thoughts on inflation.
Vance, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump earlier this year, openly expressed his disdain for President Biden’s administration and their role in the inflation crisis.
“They’ve [the Biden administration] borrowed and spent trillions of dollars that we just don’t have and that’s thrown fuel on the fire of the inflation problem,” Vance said in the debate on Oct. 10.
Ryan, who has voted in favor of every spending bill that has come out of the Biden Administration, acknowledged the importance of these bills in bringing production back to the United States and reinvigorating the economy in the long term.
For Ryan, the source of America’s inflation is investments in Chinese companies.
“J.D. Vance has invested into companies in China. The problem we’re having now with inflation is our supply chains all went to China,” Ryan said in the debate on Oct. 10.
Ryan also expressed that less time should be spent pointing fingers and more time crafting a solution.
“What I’ve been proposing is a significant tax cut for working people and small businesses. Put money in people’s pockets,” Ryan continued.
This year, the reproductive rights movement gained massive momentum following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In the state of Ohio, abortion has been a hot-button issue battled out in local and state courts, with rights to the procedure flowing in and out of law.
Ryan and Vance are strongly divided regarding their outlook on the legalization of abortion. For Ryan, who was once a pro-life member of Congress but has since changed his stance, codifying Roe v. Wade is the first and crucial step.
“I had some very personal conversations with women in Ohio who had gone through tragedies, who needed to have abortions for a variety of different reasons,” Ryan said. “And I just came to realize through the course of these conversations that the government has no place in this matter.”
Vance, on the other hand, is a pro-life politician who emphasized the importance of providing pregnant women with the proper healthcare and support they need as a way to avoid abortion in the first place. He also addressed the matter of abortion from the lens of immigration:
“Why was a ten-year-old girl raped in our community, raped in our state in the first place? That poor girl was raped by an illegal alien, somebody that should’ve never been in this state in the first place,” Ryan said.
Furthermore, Vance was asked to share his thoughts on a national 15-week abortion ban proposed by fellow Republican colleague Senator Lindsey Graham.
“No civilized country in the world allows elective abortion that late in pregnancy, and I don’t think the United States should be an exception,” Vance stated.
Foreign Affairs and Policy
America’s position in the current state of foreign affairs is yet another issue on the minds of its citizens.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensifies, the candidates were asked how they believe the country should respond if Russian President Vladimir Putin were ever to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
While Ryan firmly believes that America should have a “swift and significant” response, Vance believes that we, as a nation, should work to prevent the situation from reaching such a drastic point.
The political climate of Taiwan was also introduced during the debate, to which Ryan had a similar response. Vance, ultimately, wants America to reach a point where we “don’t have to rely on the Chinese and the Taiwanese in the first place.” For him, American independence from foreign countries, on all fronts, is the goal.
Ryan and Vance also offered their positions on a piece of legislation proposed by retiring incumbent Rob Portman that intends to codify same-sex marriage for queer Americans. While Ryan wholeheartedly supports the bill, Vance finds it detrimental to religious liberty.
In a similar vein, concerns regarding law enforcement and communities of color continue to trouble American citizens in light of the killings of Jayland Walker and Donovan Lewis.
Both Ryan and Vance believe there should be increased funding and protection for law enforcement to bring individuals back to the profession and “allay the concerns of a lot of heavily policed communities,” as said by the Republican candidate.
A wide array of issues comprise the election’s ballot this election cycle, rendering Ohioans to a collective state of concern and a desire to elect the right individuals who will deliver the necessary solutions.
As of Oct. 27, recent polls show that Ryan and Vance are still neck and neck when considering the margin of error. At this rate, there is no telling how the results will look here in Ohio.
Election day is Nov. 8.
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