Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is coming through western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio on Friday, August 19, to speak at two rallies, one for Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano and the other for Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance.
The conservative activist organization Turning Point Action is hosting the events. In a statement, Turning Point founder and President Charlie Kirk expressed his gladness to facilitate the rallies and his hope that DeSantis’s endorsement will “unite conservatives” around Mastriano and Vance.
“Governor DeSantis is America’s Governor and one of the most popular leaders in the country,” Kirk said. “He has become the model for a new conservative movement that is willing to stand on principle and to actually fight on behalf of the values of his voters. That he is willing to throw the full weight of his support behind Doug and JD tells you everything you need to know about these incredible candidates who I endorse and support 100 percent.”
The first of the two “Unite and Win” rallies, featuring Mastriano, will take place at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The second, featuring Vance, will be held at 6 p.m. at the Metroplex Expo Center in Girard. Further details about both events can be found online at tpaction.com/events.
DiSantis’s visit with Vance comes at a relatively hopeful time for the attorney, memoirist and venture capitalist. Emerson College Polling released a survey this week showing the Republican leading U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) by three percentage points.
In a breakdown of the poll, Emerson’s polling director Spencer Kimball explained that Vance enjoys an advantage among Ohioans who are most concerned about the economy and who blame President Joe Biden and congressional allies like Ryan for massive inflation. Ryan meanwhile benefits from focusing on social issues. Though once opposed to abortion, Ryan flipped on the issue years ago and has emphasized his pro-abortion stance in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent reversal of its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
“Voters who are most concerned about the economy break for Vance over Ryan by a 35-point margin,” Kimball said. “On the other hand, those who say abortion access and healthcare break for Ryan over Vance by 83- and 66-point margins.”
Mastriano’s gubernatorial run against Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) has been more difficult. The Republican, a state senator representing the Gettysburg area, is trailing Shapiro by an average of 9.2 points, according to data-analysis website FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.
This week, Mastriano challenged his opponent to two 90-minute debates in October, with the subject matter “open-ended with no limits.” No such forums have yet been scheduled.
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Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Ohio Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Rally” by Hayden Schiff. CC BY 2.0.