When adverts supporting Mr Vance started running, he gained traction, although he was still lagging behind. On April 4, his super PAC issued a memo saying Mr. Vance was no longer “primarily associated” with his past criticisms of Mr. Trump.
“JD has shown a lot of resilience in this race – and when the Beltway political class called him dead in the water earlier this year, he found himself in the running for the President’s endorsement Trump and ultimately win through sheer determination. and a natural political talent,” said Mr. Surabian, who, along with Jai Chabria, ran Mr. Vance’s campaign.
Indeed, Mr. Trump was influenced in part by the way Mr. Vance conducted himself on television. During a debate, when Mr Mandel and Mr Gibbons faced off, Mr Vance berated them, rising above the fray – and impressing Mr Trump.
Mr. Trump was on a golf course, editing his statement endorsing Mr. Vance, when NBC News announced he was about to publish it. Some of Mr Trump’s advisers, working with Mr Vance’s opponents, were pressuring the former president not to do so, but the report only solidified his decision.
Mr. Vance also benefited from a more accurate picture of the electorate.
Mr. McIntosh, of the Club for Growth, repeatedly claimed to Mr. Trump that the former president’s pollster, Anthony Fabrizio, who also worked for Mr. Vance, had inaccurately modeled the primary electorate in the United States. Ohio.
Last weekend’s Club for Growth poll showed Mr Vance winning 26% of the vote. Mr. Fabrizio’s poll had Mr. Vance at 32%.
Mr. Vance finished with 32.2%.
Jeff Roe, a Republican strategist who worked with the Club for Growth in Ohio, called Mr. Trump before the polls closed on Tuesday to concede. He told Mr. Trump that the former president was “100% responsible” for Mr. Vance’s victory, according to a person briefed on the conversation.
In his victory speech on Tuesday night, Mr. Vance thanked, among others, Donald Trump Jr., Charlie Kirk, Tucker Carlson and, of course, the former president.
Shane Goldmacher reported from Cincinnati and Maggie Haberman from New York.