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Tipsheet

People Are Preemptively Congratulating J.D. Vance After the Lincoln Project Gets Involved in Race

AP Photo/Joe Maiorana

On Tuesday, J.D. Vance emerged the victor of the Ohio Senate Republican primary with 31.3 percent of the vote in a crowded primary, which certainly seems to have been due in part thanks to former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Vance weeks prior. Now that he is the official Republican nominee to go head to head against Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in November to replace retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman, Vance also appears to be getting help from another, more unlikely source: the Lincoln Project.

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To be clear, the Lincoln Project is not endorsing Vance; they've trashed and mocked him. But, with their track record, and how their involvement in races has actually helped the candidates they're opposing, people feel it's pretty safe to point out they're actually helping Vance.

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Our friends at Twitchy also revealed a stunning find earlier on Thursday as to just who is opposed to the Lincoln Project getting involved in the race: Ryan's communications director, Isabella Levy. 

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Last October in Virginia, shortly before Republican Glenn Youngkin beat out former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, the Lincoln Project engaged in a bizarre publicity stunt where Democratic activists, including a woman and a Black man, dressed in white shirts, khaki slacks, and carried tiki torches reminiscent of the Charlottesville white supremacy demonstration from August 2017. The activists claimed to be "all in for Glenn." The Lincoln Project took credit later that night for the move. 

Even Steve Schmidt the co-founder of the Lincoln Project, criticized his former group for the move. He resigned in February of last year as a sexual harassment scandal to do with co-founder John Weaver and young men, some of them underage, came to light.

"I thought the action was recklessly stupid. It was dishonest and cheap. It is exactly the wrong way to approach the fight against a real fascist movement, against extremist elements. It showed appalling judgment by the day-to-day management and leadership of The Lincoln Project," Schmidt said after Youngkin had already been elected the week before. 

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The Lincoln Project had also campaigned against Youngkin with ads shared on social media which claiming his opposition to Critical Race Theory (CRT), which he made a major issue during his campaign and now during his administration, stemmed from a desire to go around referring to Black people using a racial slur.

The race for this Ohio Senate seat is considered to favor Republicans. Cook Political Report indicates it's "Lean Republican," while Sabato's Crystal Ball says "Likely Republican" and Inside Elections notes it's "Solid Republican."

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