By Frank Fang
Former President Donald Trump made his final appeal to voters in Ohio on election eve, urging them to deliver a “humiliating rebuke” to the “radical left” in the midterm elections.
“The first step to saving America is winning an epic victory for Republicans tomorrow,” Trump told supporters in a rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on Nov. 7. “Tomorrow, you have to crush the communists because that’s what they are at the ballot box.”
Trump was in Vandalia—the final stop of his four-city tour that began on Nov. 3 in Iowa—campaigning for local Republican candidates including J.D. Vance, who is seeking the state’s Senate seat. Vance, a venture capitalist and author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” is seeking to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
“This country has gone crazy. There’s only one choice to end this madness,” Trump said, pointing to a number of problems facing the United States under the Biden administration, including the fentanyl crisis, the influx of illegal immigrants through the U.S.–Mexico border, inflation, and violent crime.
“If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, then tomorrow, you must vote Republican in a giant red wave that we’ve all been hearing about,” Trump added.
To tackle the fentanyl crisis, Trump called for imposing the death penalty as punishment for convicted drug dealers and human traffickers. The former president said doing so would “reduce drug distribution and reduce crime in our country by a minimum of 75 percent on the first day that this policy is instituted.”
“We should pass legislation to deport every illegal alien that Joe Biden has unlawfully allowed to break into our country,” Trump added. “We have to make America safe again.”
Trump urged Ohio voters to elect Vance into office, saying that he will “fight for Ohio with every bone in his body.”
“He will fight for strong borders, fair trade, more Ohio jobs, and he will be tough as you can be on crime,” Trump said. “J.D. knows how important it is to have leaders who put America first and put Ohio first. He wants to put America first.”
Polling data aggregator RealClearPolitics rated Ohio’s Senate race as “leans GOP” and gave Vance an eight-point lead over Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio).
As for Ryan, Trump criticized the 10-term congressman for supporting abolishing cash bail and President Joe Biden’s “war on American energy.”
Vance spoke briefing at the rally, telling supporters that the U.S. Senate needs senators who are “fighters” and “doers.”
“We got to get out there and run up the score on these guys because we need to win and we need to win big and take our country back,” Vance said. “We need people who are going to fight for the issues and actually get something done for the people of Ohio. That’s what I want to do.”
Trump also appealed to Ohio voters to vote for other local Republican candidates, including Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, both seeking reelection to their current positions.
The Cook Political Report currently rates Ohio’s gubernatorial race as “solid Republican.”
Near the end of the rally, Trump teased confirmation of his anticipated 2024 White House bid.
“I’m going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, November 15, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida,” Trump said, without elaborating. He added, “We want nothing to detract from the importance of tomorrow.”