Ohio special election poses major test for Trump, as Dems threaten upset for district held by GOP for decades

by
August 6, 2018

Troy Balderson and opponent

Democrats looking for a shocking underdog win in a special election in Ohio on Tuesday are hoping not only to snatch a House seat in a historically Republican district, but also to energize their national effort to fight President Trump’s agenda and reclaim a congressional majority.

Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, in the suburbs of Columbus, has had a Republican representative for 35 years, and has been largely in GOP hands since 1920. But a poll released Monday by Monmouth University showed that Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson, 56, leads upstart challenger Danny O’Connor, 31, by just one percentage point.

Trump, who won the wealthy and highly educated district by double-digits in 2016, went all-in for Balderson with a last-minute rally on Saturday night in a sweltering auditorium that Trump said hit “110 degrees,” ruining his “brand-new, beautiful suit.” Former President Obama took the district by several percentage points in 2008.

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