Tuesday night the candidates for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat took the stage to answer live audience questions and moderator questions separately for the last time before the midterm elections next Tuesday. Republican J.D. Vance and Democrat Tim Ryan discussed various topics such as inflation, immigration, and abortion all of which have been top issues for voters this election season. Ryan spent a portion of his time flip-flopping as he mentioned wanting to work with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, though also criticizing Vance, Trump, and MAGA. In contrast, Vance took his time to highlight Ryan’s performance and assess his political position.

While the candidates were not on the stage together, they clashed on each of the topics discussed. Though with the structure of the meeting, both candidates discussed their top issues without rebuttal from the other side, allowing the 200 voters in attendance a better look into the candidates. It seemed that Vance overall displayed his answers straight up without throwing insults at Ryan, the other candidate, while Ryan seemed to have a mixture of answers and trash talk for the Republicans and Vance in particular. Highlighting the difference between a candidate who wants to help Americans and a man who is a career politician.

When the candidates were asked about inflation and spending, Vance mentioned that Biden’s administration was to blame due to all the borrowing, spending, and raised energy costs. He mentioned he would hope spending and borrowing could be stopped and energy could be subsidized in Ohio cutting costs and bringing inflation down. In contrast, Ryan proposed tax cuts in the short term and working on Ohio’s natural gas sector for the long run.

While the men had opposite takes on abortion, with Ryan wanting to return to the establishment of Roe v. Wade and Vance wanting to keep laws on abortion at a state level, they did seem to agree on immigration policy. Both candidates seemed to want more border control and agreed that immigration has led to the opioid crisis.

Ryan also mentioned the MAGA movement, and the recent direction Democrats are taking the GOP with the ‘party of violence’ label. Though his criticisms were met with boos and “liar” comments from the audience.

Overall both candidates seemed to echo that both sides need to work together, from the tone though it seemed Ryan’s comments on unity might have been just for show.

Polls are still showing Vance in the lead, new polls after last night’s town hall have yet to be released.

Read more on USA Today and NBC4.

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