Trump-backed Republican businessman Bernie Moreno has won Ohio’s Republican nomination for U.S. Senate and will advance to the general election against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

The Associated Press called the Republican Senate primary at 8:35 p.m. ET, with roughly 25 percent of the vote reported.

Moreno bested State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-OH) and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) in Tuesday’s contest, marking another victory for the MAGA wing of the Republican Party over the GOP establishment.

FiveThirtyEight’s polling average showed LaRose leading the pack in November, with Dolan in second place and Moreno in third. But Moreno began surging late in 2023 and landed former President Donald Trump’s highly influential endorsement on December 17, which was a major blow to his establishment opponents.

However, Dolan surged in recent weeks after Moreno had jumped into first place. That was followed by an Associated Press smear piece against Moreno on March 13, making the contours of the race murky in the home stretch.

On Saturday, former President Donald Trump spoke at a Buckeyes Values PAC rally for Moreno in Dayton, Ohio, where he hyped his candidate and torched Dolan, translating to a major surge for Moreno, according to polling.

An Emerson College poll taken on Sunday and Monday following the rally found Moreno with a nearly double-digit lead over Dolan, 38 percent to 29 percent. This marked a 15-point swing in support for Moreno compared to an Emerson College poll sponsored by Nexstar released on March 13.

The Trump-backed candidate now heads to the general election against a vulnerable Brown in one of the best Senate seat pick-up opportunities for the Republican Party in 2024, as Breitbart News has detailed.

Statewide races in the Buckeye State have not been favorable to Democrats in recent years. In the 2022 midterm elections, Ohioans elected Republicans, who swept every race of this nature. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) won his race over former Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) by six points, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) won reelection by 25 points, and LaRose took the secretary of state race by 21 points.

Republicans also enjoyed dominating wins in the contests for attorney general, auditor, and treasurer in 2022. These followed Trump’s roughly eight-point wins in Ohio over twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 and President Joe Biden in 2020.

Ohio is one of ten states where Republicans have realistic opportunities to flip Democrat seats. Conversely, Democrats’ best shots at picking up a Republican seat are in the red states of Texas and Florida, where strong incumbents in Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rick Scott (R-FL) are up for reelection.

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