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Vance to Make Solo Debut at Rallies    07/22 06:22

   Republican vice presidential nominee JD Vance will make his first solo 
appearances on the campaign trail Monday, a day after the 2024 presidential 
race was thrown into upheaval as President Joe Biden dropped out of the race, 
leaving the Democratic candidate an open question.

   MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) -- Republican vice presidential nominee JD Vance will 
make his first solo appearances on the campaign trail Monday, a day after the 
2024 presidential race was thrown into upheaval as President Joe Biden dropped 
out of the race, leaving the Democratic candidate an open question.

   Vance, an Ohio senator, is scheduled to hold a rally in his hometown of 
Middletown on Monday afternoon, followed by a second rally Monday evening in 
Radford, Virginia, fresh off his rally debut with Donald Trump over the weekend.

   Vance had been expected to eventually face Vice President Kamala Harris in a 
debate. But with Biden dropping out and the Democratic ticket unsettled, the 
senator is following Trump's lead and focusing on attacking Biden and Harris 
jointly.

   "President Trump and I are ready to save America, whoever's at the top of 
the Democrat ticket," Vance said Sunday in a post on X. "Bring it on."

   Trump's campaign plans to use Vance, who became the GOP vice presidential 
nominee last week, in Rust Belt states that are seen as pivotal for Democrats' 
path to the White House, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and 
places where the senator's blue collar roots and populist views are expected to 
resonate.

   His hometown of Middletown, which sits between Cincinnati and Dayton, is 
considered to be part of the Rust Belt. Using it as the location for his first 
solo event as the vice presidential nominee not only allows Vance to lean into 
his biography, which he laid out in his bestselling memoir "Hillbilly Elegy," 
but it gives the campaign a chance to establish a fresh groundswell in a former 
swing state that has been trending Republican.

   Vance's second event on Monday will be held in a part of western Virginia 
that is considered a part of the Appalachia region.

   In his speech at the Republican National Convention last week introducing 
himself to America, Vance spoke about "forgotten communities" where "jobs were 
sent overseas and children were sent to war."

   The 39-year-old Republican also leaned into his relative youth, contrasting 
Biden's decades in government with the milestones in his own life. It's not 
clear how Vance will shift his message toward Harris, whom many Democrats were 
lining up to support, or any other contender for the nomination.

   Despite his presence on the primetime debate stage and his bestselling book, 
Vance is still working to introduce himself to voters.

   A CNN poll conducted in late June found the majority of registered voters 
had never heard of Vance or had no opinion of him. Just 13% of registered 
voters said they had a favorable opinion of Vance and 20% had an unfavorable 
one, according to the poll.

   After Vance was named as Trump's running mate, a startling number of 
Republican delegates, who are typically party insiders and activists, said they 
didn't know much about the senator.

   Vance has served in the Senate for less than two years. He has morphed from 
being a harsh Trump critic, at one point likening him to Hitler, to becoming a 
staunch defender of the former president, hitting the campaign trail on his 
behalf and even joining him at his Manhattan criminal trial this summer.

 
 
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