71 Republic can call the Ohio 12th congressional district race for Troy Balderson. The district has been a GOP stronghold for over 40 years, delivering one Republican representative after another to DC. Although in recent history, this district has been a shoe-in for the GOP, this special election seemed very different. Franklin County Recorder and prominent local Democrat Danny O’Connor made a formidable challenge from the start.
With a strong showing in the primaries and strong early polling, O’Connor put his name on the map and turned the race competitive. National forces of the DNC were pitted against President Trump in this race, as each side gave as much support as possible to their respective candidate. Now, as the dust settles, it appears as though Balderson has secured the narrowest of victories over O’Connor.
O’Connor outperformed previous Democratic candidates in Franklin County and Richland County, however, it was not enough to counter strong GOP showings in Deleware, Licking and Muskigum Counties. By the time all of the votes are counted up, Balderson will have around 50% of the vote and about a 1000 vote margin of victory over O’Connor, a race so close that a recount may be necessary to affirm the result. This race is an important bellwether race and definitely signals which way the momentum ahead of the midterms is trending.
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