U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), a candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, said this weekend that he will make a public appearance alongside President Joe Biden despite the latter’s abysmal approval rating in the Buckeye State.
A July survey from Morning Consult indicated Biden suffered from a -23-point net approval rating in Ohio. Ryan is himself struggling to win sufficient favor with Ohioans in his race against Republican attorney, venture capitalist, and author JD Vance, who maintains a 3.7-point average polling lead against the Democrat, according to RealClearPolitics.
The congressman, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said he will appear with the president in Licking County on September 9 for the groundbreaking of an Intel semiconductor factory. Attendees will tout the recent passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, a $280-billion measure aiding technical research and manufacturing.
“This is the biggest, most transformational economic development project in Ohio’s history,” he said. “I will be there. I’m proud to have supported this and helped bring this investment to Ohio.”
The Youngstown-area legislator has largely kept his distance from the commander in chief heretofore in the campaign, though the two have aligned on nearly every issue. An analysis by the data aggregator FiveThirtyEight showed Ryan voted in favor of the White House’s position on all 88 pieces of legislation tracked by the website. Concerning abortion, taxes, spending, gun rights and nearly all other matters, the lawmaker has hewed strongly toward the Left.
Such faithful adherence to the president’s agenda might not threaten the re-election of a congressperson in Ryan’s district, whose voters went for Biden against Donald Trump in 2020 by a margin of 3.4 points. But Trump carried Ohio statewide by an eight-point margin that year, signaling rough terrain for a liberal Senate hopeful. Vance has meanwhile boasted of having Trump’s support since the primary.
So, unsurprisingly, even as the congressman prepares to join Biden for the September event, he has declined to associate himself with the president on some occasions. When the president visited Cleveland in July to promote pro-union pension regulations, Ryan stayed away. Weeks later, when asked by the press whether he would encourage Biden to seek another term in 2024, the candidate replied that he was “working on my own election and that’s all I’m focused on right now.”
And last week, when the White House bypassed Congress to cancel $300 million in college loans, Ryan insisted that “waiving debt for those already on a trajectory to financial security sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet.”
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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 “Tim Ryan” by U.S. House of Representatives. Photo “Joe Biden” by The White House. Background Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by Ɱ. CC BY-SA 4.0.