Last night, Republican Troy Balderson went head to head with Democrat Daniel O’Connor in the special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional district. This was a district that President Trump won by a large margin of 11.5 percentage points, and a seat that has been red for the greater part of four decades. In 2016, Republicans won the seat with 2/3 of the vote.
The election came down to the wire and still remains “too close to call“, but according to the New York Times, Balderson barely pulled it out, winning with just 50.2% of the vote. The final tally appears to be 101,574 votes for Balderson and 99,820 for O’Connor.
Trump took to Twitter this morning, seemingly taking credit for Balderson’s victory, saying:
“When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov.”
While Trump’s speech on Saturday night may or may not have helped Balderson to some degree, truth be told, the whole reason why O’Connor was able to put up such a fight, is because people in Ohio’s 12th district are not satisfied with the direction that Trump and his fellow Republicans are taking this country.
In fact, polls before Trump’s speech showed Balderson had a very commanding lead in the race. One poll on June 11 showed Balderson to be ahead of O’Connor by a count of 43 to 33. On July 13, those numbers got closer, with poll numbers showing Balderson was up 48 to 43.
The Trump factor doesn’t appear to be helping fellow Republicans. If Trump and Republicans were really as popular Trump leads you to believe, OH12 would have seen similar results to the previous elections in that district where Republicans blew away their opponents.