Republican Troy Balderson Declares Victory in Ohio Special Election

Casey GreeneAug 08, 2018

But just as with other special elections in the 2018 cycle where Democrats waged a competitive race on red turf, from Alabama's Senate seat to Pennsylvania's 18th District, Republicans started to see danger signs as the election drew nearer.

Mr. Balderson's 0.9 percent margin, representing less than 2,000 votes, is slightly greater than the 0.5 percent gap that would trigger an automatic recount, though a losing candidate can still call for one.

Under Ohio law, the remaining absentee and provisional ballots can not be counted for 11 days, the secretary of state's office said. Troy Balderson, 56, leads upstart challenger Danny O'Connor, 31, by just one percentage point.

Provisional ballots won't be counted until August 17, and the victor of Tuesday's race won't be seated until the House returns to work on September 4.

However, if Balderson keeps the victory, it will be short-lived - the seat will go up for election again in November for the general midterm election.

"I've worked in OH presidential and senate races for Republicans and the idea of #oh12 being a close race is sort of like hearing gravity is a regional phenomena", tweeted Republican strategist Stuart Stevens.

Troy Balderson appeared to squeak out a win over the Democratic nominee, Franklin County recorder Danny O'Connor.

Evan Weese contributed reporting.

"A loss tonight would be devastating for the GOP - it should not be this close", Republican pollster Frank Luntz said in a tweet.

On if the midterm elections are unlikely to be like 2010: I mean I'd be surprised if they lost half as many seats as they won in 2010, mostly because Republicans don't have as much exposure.

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.

On Twitter, Trump called Kobach a "strong and early supporter of mine".

"He is a fantastic guy who loves his State and our Country - he will be a GREAT Governor and has my full & total Endorsement!"

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. Strong on Crime, Border & Military. Democrats could also celebrate their showing in a district that has gone Republican for decades. Bernie Sanders and ascending political star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a NY congressional candidate.

It's unclear whether Trump's support helps or hurts his preferred candidate of Balderson.

Senate contests in Missouri and MI will come into focus as two vulnerable Senate Democrats, Missouri's Claire McCaskill and Michigan's Debbie Stabenow, are expected to easily claim their party's nominations.

And in Missouri's 1st District, Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay faces a challenge from the left from Cori Bush, a nurse and activist who has campaigned with Ocasio-Cortez.

"Josh Hawley has established himself as a conservative champion for Missouri families, and we have no doubt he will beat Claire McCaskill this November", said Chris Hansen, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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