Everybody Hates JD Vance

Looks like JD Vance might have to write an elegy about his own Senate campaign. Politico reports that the pro-Vance Protect Ohio Values super PAC has concluded that their guy’s a big loser nobody likes. Pollster Tony Fabrizio, wielding a 98-page PowerPoint deck, advised that Vance “needs a course correction” STAT. I'm not sure what that looks like. Maybe it's similar to when Cliff Clavin on “Cheers" had someone secretly electrocute him whenever he was obnoxious.

According to the slide deck, Vance has seen a “precipitous decline” in Ohio’s GOP Senate primary since last fall, when a pair of outside groups backing a rival began a multimillion-dollar TV advertising blitz using five-year-old footage of Vance attacking former President Donald Trump.

Vance has tried to recant his original anti-Trump heresy. He’s begged the MAGA flock to forgive him his trespasses and "not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I've been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them.” Vance’s problem is that anyone still hopelessly devoted to the former insurrectionist in chief at this point is either evil or stupid. Either way, they can see through Vance’s shameless opportunism and have zero respect for him.

REMEMBER? So JD Vance Is Pretty Pathetic, Yeah?

Vance somehow thought that behaving like an asshole would prove himself MAGA worthy: He’s attacked the so-called “childless Left” and called half the country “scumbags.” But all he managed to do was alienate the non-MAGA voters who might’ve supported him previously while not gaining any traction with Trumpists. He was caught in an asshole-22.

GOP pollster Frank Lutz shared a slide from the presentation, which revealed that the more voters hear about Vance, the less they like him. This is how effective political campaigns are run in the Bizarro World. Vance is better off never saying another word or making another public appearance. He could also see if there’s enough time to change his name to Ice Cream. The MAGA crowd might vote for Ice Cream, as long as it’s never said anything critical about Trump.

According to Fabrizio’s presentation, what’s “driving [Vance’s] negatives is the perception that he is anti-Trump.” That’s only grown since November, which is after Vance grossly said that he wished Trump was back on Twitter to mock Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of a woman. All he accomplished was offending anyone with a human soul.

REMEMBER? JD Vance Pretty Sure America Needs To Laugh More At People’s Tragic Deaths

Fabrizio revealed that Vance’s campaign is “now underwater with strong Trump” supporters “and very conservative voters, groups needed to win a GOP primary.” I love that Fabrizio has to remind Vance that it’s hard to win a party's primary if most of the key demos detest you. Someone should hire him to have a come-to-Jesus with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

He added that Vance’s “association as a Never Trumper has only grown since November” and that “being anti-Trump is the #1 reason voters do not like Vance.”

Auditioning for the Senate’s next top Ted Cruz won’t improve Vance’s prospects. He can debase himself to our endless amusement, but that doesn’t erase his past statements. He described himself as a “Never Trumper” and (correctly) called Trump an idiot in 2016. Deep down, Trump knows he hasn’t fundamentally changed. He’s also obsessed with seeking vengeance against those he believes didn’t support him when he needed their help the most.

Current polling shows Vance bringing up the rear behind Josh Mandel, investment banker Mike Gibbons, and former GOP chair Jane Timken. Fabrizio suggests that a Trump endorsement could turn things around for Vance, but we all know Trump is too much of a parasite to ever attach himself to a dying host.


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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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