MEDINA, Ohio — Flanked by a “Don’t Tread On My Uterus” flag on his right and longtime GOP advisor Steve Schmidt on his left, Tim Ryan stepped out from under the gazebo in a town square to greet the crowd with a promise to fuel “Shocking the World” on Election Day.

Ohio would not vote like Ohio, Ryan argued, because Buckeye state voters only wanted to elect a pragmatic centrist.

Despite nearly all the major headwinds facing Democrats this midterm cycle, the Ohio congressman said his campaign would do more than just “make a dent in Medina,” a county where former President Donald Trump spent the year 2020 by almost 25 points.

As Ryan attempts to emulate Sherrod Brown’s playbook and defeat Republican JD Vance in a seat comfortably held by outgoing GOP Sen. Rob Portman, the Youngstown native’s closing message in the unexpectedly close race fused economic concerns with one the fight for democracy.

“This isn’t us, we’re not extremists,” Ryan told the crowd of over 100 after bragging about “kicking JD’s ass” during debates and a Fox News Town Hall.

If Ryan’s lengthy Senate bid were a movie, the climax scene, in which the emotional musical score rises to a crescendo, would have fitted perfectly with the Sunday afternoon swing through the dependable Red County south of Cleveland.

Recent polls have shown Vance to be in the lead despite months of going head-to-head between the two, with Ryan occasionally leading the way. According to FiveThirtyEight’s tracker, Vance’s lead is still relatively small at about 4 points before Election Day.

Although he preached to the converts – with most rally attendees telling The Daily Beast they had voted early – it was a big deal for Medina’s liberals to stand side by side.

Voters recalled the series of disappointments they have faced since former President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign was stung by a county where undecided voters keep breaking for the GOP.

“It kind of sounds like we’re talking about it war of stars‘ Stephanie Reed, a Medina resident who works in crisis intervention, told The Daily Beast, referring to her slow efforts to convince voters to the ‘dark side’.

Reed, who found the Don’t Tread On My Uterus flag on Amazon for just $9.99, said she saw signs the county was going blue. Yet at this point, she said, she maintains an upbeat attitude only about her own sanity.

In his modified blunt speech, Ryan recalled his late maternal grandfather, who he said supported liberal causes because he had time from his job to volunteer and support the community, rather than having to work more hours to learn about the to make ends meet. Ryan then attempted to link the economic concerns to his own worries about the survival of the American democratic experiment.

Ryan spoke of how “we’ve lost something as Americans, a sense that we can make a difference in someone’s life.”

His portrayal of severed social ties was shared by contestants such as Al Junke and his wife Rosie Collier. The retired couple said their social circle had already chosen and they all tended to have similar political beliefs, but they still went out and knocked on doors to change some minds.

They used to have Republican friends and family, but those ties were severed during the Trump era, and while they’re used to Medina County running for Republicans, both said they believe the Supreme Court’s abortion decision is the Democrats’ best shot , to win nationwide.

The race may already be lost, but they said they would never admit it to themselves while there was more work to be done before Election Day.

In his final rallying cry, Ryan explained that the excitement he relies on will come from “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Regardless, Ohio went about 8 points clear of Trump in both 2016 and 2020.

For Ryan, if enough people from places like Medina show up and vote when they wouldn’t otherwise, the tally will ultimately go in his favor.

“So pay attention because we are ordinary people who are going to do something extraordinary,” Ryan told the crowd just before sunset. “We will win Ohio.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/tim-ryan-bragged-about-kicking-jds-ass-but-can-he-beat-him-tuesday?source=articles&via=rss Tim Ryan boasted about ‘kicking JD’s ass’ but can he beat him on Tuesday?

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