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Ohio Senate debate: Vance hammers immigration issue, Ryan says he disagrees with some Biden border policies

Ohio Senate candidates Tim Ryan and JD Vance clashed during a second debate Monday with the midterm election three weeks away.

The pair traded criticisms on a variety of topics, including inflation, tax cuts, abortion and more. The ongoing immigration and border security crisis also took center stage.

Vance, a Republican, hammered on the immigration issue, pointing to President Biden’s administration and Democratic Party leaders as failing to secure the southern border.

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“The people [Ryan] answers to in Washington D.C. — they are very explicit about that,” Vance said. “They say they want more and more immigration because if that happens, they’ll ensure Republicans are never able to win another national election.”

Ryan, a Democrat, snapped back at the accusation, shifting gears and claiming that Vance’s rhetoric was linked to ideologies responsible for mass murder and terrorism.

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“This great replacement theory was the motivator for the shooting in Buffalo. Where that shooter had all these great replacement theory writings that JD Vance agrees with,” Ryan said. 

He continued, “Some sicko got this information that he’s peddling with those extremists he runs around with — Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz — all these guys, they just want to stoke this racial violence. We’re tired of it, JD!”

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Notably, Ryan told the audience that he did not agree with Biden’s “relaxing some of the regulations down on the border — completely disagree with that.”

He went on to state that he formed the Border Technology Caucus to focus on using technology at the border to increase security.

A new Suffolk University/USA TODAY survey found that if the election in Ohio were held today, 47% of likely voters would choose Republican Vance compared to 45% who would vote for Rep. Ryan, D-Ohio. 

Over 40% of respondents identified inflation and the economy as the most important issues, according to the poll. Abortion and threats to democracy ranked as the other top issues of concern at 19% each. 

The Suffolk University poll was conducted from Oct. 11-15 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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