Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Republican Troy Balderson Declares Victory in Ohio Special Election

Crystal ball time Where are we headed politically Getty Images
Glenn Montgomery | 08 August, 2018, 10:57

The Cook Political Report, which monitors congressional races across the country, lists the Lowcountry 1st District, long held by Republicans, as a potential pickup for Democrats this fall.

Why? With 100 percent of precincts reporting, and with the early vote counted, Balderson leads O'Connor by 1,754 votes out of 202,521 votes cast.

The district - which runs from Columbus' northern suburbs to affluent Delaware County and east to the foothills of Appalachia - has been represented by Republicans for decades. "Strong on Crime, Border & Military", the president tweeted on the eve of the election.

Voters around the state of Kansas showed up at the polls Tuesday to decide competitive primary races and set the stage for the November general election. His campaign spent $2.25 million on advertising compared to Balderson's $507,000, according to campaign tallies of ad spending.

O'Connor needed Franklin County - which includes the state capital of Columbus - to come out strongly for him in order to topple his Republican rival. "Tomorrow we rest and then we keep fighting through to November", O'Connor told supporters at a post-election party.

"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.

Over in Kansas, Republicans are locked in an internal fight for the governorship.

Trump won the district by 11 percentage points in the White House race in 2016 and Republican Pat Tiberi won re-election to the House by a whopping 37 percentage points.

"That this race is too close to call speaks volumes about Danny O'Connor's strength and Republicans' expensive, failed playbook".

Voters are heading to the polls to decide key races including governor where seven Republicans and five Democrats are seeking their party's nomination.

Whoever wins Tuesday will hold the seat until early 2019.

The close race in the OH special election became a referendum on Trump's leadership and a last chance to gauge Democratic strength ahead of November's midterm elections.

The pro-Balderson effort has focused largely on motivating Republican voters by casting O'Connor as extreme.

Democrats, meanwhile, have been attacking Balderson by casting his support of tax cuts as threats to Social Security and Medicare.

In Michigan, three mainstream Democrats in suburban Detroit were among those vying for a chance at retiring Republican Rep. Dave Trott's seat in November. The field included Fayrouz Saad, who would be the first Muslim woman in Congress.

The Republican Party has held the OH 12th District seat for more than three decades, so the very fact that it's so close is significant. Two vulnerable Senate Democrats, Missouri's Claire McCaskill, and Michigan's Debbie Stabenow are facing challenges in their states.

In the Republican primary for Kansas governor, Trump on Monday endorsed Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state known for his crusade for restrictive voting laws, over incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer. He'd join Sen. Tim Scott as the only black Republican senators if he did. It was also a sign that the party's strategy for the race - fully embracing President Donald Trump and his bombastic message in hopes of motivating Republican voters, rather than trying to soothe moderates' worries about the President - could backfire in similar districts in November's midterm elections.

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