Former President Donald Trump’s coalition lifted Bernie Moreno to victory in Ohio’s GOP Senate primary, according to NBC News exit polls.  

Moreno defeated state Sen. Matt Dolan and state Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Tuesday, NBC News projects, advancing to the general election to take on Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, also won his primary in Ohio. 

It’s clear Trump’s decision to endorse Moreno, a wealthy former car dealer, boosted him among his most ardent supporters, underscoring the former president’s sway in GOP primaries farther down the ballot. Aside from Brown, Ohio is also represented by Sen. JD Vance, whom Trump’s endorsement also propelled to victory in a GOP primary in 2022.

Exit polls showed that there was plenty of overlap between Trump and Moreno supporters. 

A whopping 93% of Moreno’s backers approved of Trump’s job as president, while 78% of LaRose’s supporters and 57% of Dolan’s supporters said the same. 

Of Moreno’s supporters, 61% did not have college degrees, 80% were over age 45, and 60% considered themselves part of the MAGA movement, referring to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” 

Eight in 10 Moreno supporters said they believed the unfounded notion that President Joe Biden did not legitimately win the 2020 election, a higher share than Moreno’s two opponents — 60% of LaRose’s supporters said Biden did not win the 2020 election, while just 42% of Dolan supporters agreed. 

GOP primary voters were also asked whether it is important that Ohio’s next senator show support for Trump: 91% of Moreno’s supporters said it was important, compared to 65% of LaRose’s and 47% of Dolan’s. 

But the exit polls did include some warning signs for Moreno as he turns his attention to November, suggesting that Brown could have an opening with some Republicans. Brown will most likely need to win over some GOP voters to secure a fourth Senate term, because Trump won Ohio by 8 points in 2016 and 2020. 

Around 1 in 4 Republican primary voters overall said it was not important for Ohio’s next senator to show support for Trump.

And 35% of GOP primary voters said they were “dissatisfied or angry” with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that protected the right to abortion, while 43% opposed a federal ban on abortion.

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