Tight Ohio Vote Could Spell Trouble for GOP This Fall

08 August, 2018, 10:57 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Danny O'Connor  Twitter

Although the race was still too close to call, Mr Trump claimed victory and took credit for the Republican's success.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Balderson had a 1,754-vote lead over O'Connor, with more than 202,000 votes cast.

And in an election morning tweet, Mr Trump said Balderson would make a "great congressman".

The 12th district has numerous hallmarks of areas that could be weak spots for Republicans this cycle - well-educated, relatively affluent suburbs that may have soured on Trump and are looking to register their frustration through their midterm vote. Strong on Crime, Border & Military.

The narrow margin will be little comfort for Republicans anxious about the prospect of a Democratic wave heading into the November 6 elections.

Earlier in the week, Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for Balderson in Newark.

A win by O'Connor would show that some of the GOP's most familiar attack lines may not prove salient any longer come November.

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"I know people don't want to hear this, but at this point it doesn't really matter", Sean Trende, an election analyst at RealClearPolitics, tweeted as results came in.

In Kansas, Kris Kobach, a conservative leader in the movement to restrict illegal immigration and pass more restrictive voting laws, narrowly led Governor Jeff Colyer with about 84 percent of the votes counted for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The election would have been considered a major loss for the Republicans since President Donald Trump won the state by an 11 point margin in 2016.

Gov. John Kasich, who has rarely seen eye-to-eye with Trump, also endorsed Balderson.

The race matched consistent trends in special elections and statewide contests since Trump took office: Turnout sagged in rural, heavily Republican areas; surged in suburban areas; and swung in Democrats' favor in those suburbs when compared to the 2016 election results.

Should the polarizing Kobach win the primary, some Republican operatives fear he could lose the governor's seat to Democrats this fall.

The pro-Balderson effort has focused largely on motivating Republican voters by casting O'Connor as extreme. The Republican campaign arm and its allied super PAC was forced to pick up the slack, spending more than $4 million between them.

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The special election will fill the seat vacated by Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R), who is retiring.

But political observers said the fact the race was so close in a district that Democrats have not held since Ronald Reagan was president was notable.

The field was set in two Senate contests as well.

In the MI governor's race, progressive favorite Abdul El-Sayed, the 33-year-old former Detroit health official vying to become the nation's first Muslim governor, faces former state Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer, who is considered the favorite in the race. He would join Tim Scott of SC as the only black Republican senators if he wins in November.

Balderson also got a boost from second-term Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who endorsed him late in the race, even as he sounded an alarm over the Trump-driven tactics, warning that they had alienated suburban women, in particular.

Hours before polls opened, Trump again weighed in on Twitter, casting James as "a potential Republican star".

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