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RGA Forced to Spend Big To Defend Mike DeWine in Ugly GOP Primary

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The RGA has once again been forced to spend big to defend one of their own sitting GOP governors from a primary that has been encouraged by Donald Trump, new reporting shows. As Mike DeWine scrambles to fend off an escalating attack from Republican challenger Jim Renacci, the RGA gave over $1 million in the first three months of 2022 to Free Ohio PAC, a group supporting Mike DeWine.

Faced with deep unpopularity within his own party, Mike DeWine has a real and expensive primary problem. Reporting has highlighted how the “intra-party rebellion” DeWine is battling has made “relations with his own changing party…challenging at times, and polls have shown “significant warning signs” for DeWine’s reelection. Meanwhile, Renacci has given millions of his own money to his campaign and has spent close to $1 million on ads already.

The massive spending to defend DeWine isn’t the first time this cycle the RGA has been forced to spend to defend one of their own incumbent governors in a primary. The RGA is spending on ads in Georgia to protect Brian Kemp from Trump-endorsed challenger David Perdue — the first time the RGA spent on ads to protect an incumbent in a Republican primary ever, along with spending nearly $600,000 in Oklahoma.

“Mike DeWine’s standing with his own party is so bad, the RGA is being forced to step in and spend big to try to salvage his reputation with Republicans,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “Across the country, from Georgia to Ohio, it’s clear the deep divisions in the GOP are past the point of no return and it will hurt them in November.”