Tuesday’s special congressional election in Ohio was the final direct face-off between Republicans and Democrats before the November mid-terms.
Democrats, who anticipate their grass-roots activism propelling a “blue wave” this year, see a genuine shot at flipping a district long held by the GOP, and sending a message that President Donald Trump’s brand of attack politics is in trouble.
In recent weeks Mr. Trump has made several campaign appearances ahead of State primaries, endorsing candidates for Congress and Governor and imploring his supporters, as he did in Ohio on Saturday night, to get out and vote.
Pollsters rate the Ohio race between Republican State Senator Troy Balderson and Democratic lawyer Danny O’Connor, 31, as a toss-up. In a swing State that Mr. Trump won by eight points in 2016, Mr. Balderson’s 10-point lead from June has evaporated.
“Ohio, vote today for Troy Balderson for Congress,” the President tweeted on Tuesday morning, saying that Mr. O’Connor “is weak on Crime, the Border, Military, Vets, your 2nd Amendment — and will end your Tax Cuts.”
An O’Connor victory in the race to succeed retired GOP congressman Patrick Tiberi, in a wealthy suburban district that has voted Republican for decades, would be a massive shot in the arm for Democrats seeking to take back the House. Experts, including those at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, say the Republican challenge of holding their House majority in November is looking increasingly difficult.
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