Trump declares victory for Republican in very tight OH special election

08 August, 2018, 10:56 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Troy Balderson Danny O'Connor

President Donald Trump's preferred congressional candidate - and his chief legislative achievement - are about to be tested in battleground OH in the season's final high-stakes special election.

O'Connor's total of almost 100,000 votes far exceeded what the district's former Republican congressman Pat Tiberi's Democratic opponent got in 2014. In an election morning tweet, Trump said Balderson would make a "great congressman".

But, as was the case in Pennsylvania, outside spending by Republican groups dwarfed the Democrats. "That was not good", the president tweeted.

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

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.

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) said a record had been set for women major party nominees for US House elections in any one year.

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 most recent poll, released by Emerson College on Monday, called the race a dead heat.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted reported late Tuesday night that according to unofficial results, Mr. Balderson led Democrat Danny O'Connor by 1,754 votes.

His opponent's campaign was described by some analysts as "not serious".

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The two will face off again in November to see who holds the seat in 2019 and 2020.

At times, the race centred on Trump's tax cuts as much as the candidates.

O'Connor dominated Balderson on the local airwaves.

O'Connor and his Democratic allies railed against the tax plan, casting it as a giveaway for the rich that exacerbates federal deficits and threatens Medicare and Social Security. Three mainstream Democrats were among those vying for a chance at retiring Republican Rep. Dave Trott's seat in November.

There are dozens of Republican-held seats more favourable to Democrats across the country than Ohio's 12th district, a predominantly rural and suburban seat previously held by the state's moderate Republican Governor John Kasich.

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.

It seems Republican Governor John Kasich's decision to endorse Balderson, who's running for his old seat, in a TV ad during the campaign's final week had a a bigger impact than Trump's visit.

"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.

President Trump campaigned for Balderson, a 56-year-old state senator, this past weekend in an effort to energize the GOP base, but some Republicans anxious that the president's appearance could have had an adverse effect by motivating voters who don't like Trump to come out for O'Connor.

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