President Trump isn’t on the ballot Tuesday, but his sway with Republican voters will be put to the test in a series of races with major implications for the midterm elections.
The main event is a special congressional election in Ohio’s 12th District, where Democrats are trying to flip a seat that has belonged to Republicans for decades. On paper, GOP nominee Troy Balderson should have the advantage. He has the support of both Trump, the populist president who carried both the district and the state in 2016, and Gov. John Kasich, the increasingly centrist Republican who held the seat himself for nine terms.
Except the public polling shows Balderson locked in a dead heat with Democrat Danny O’Connor as the more affluent and suburban parts of the district swing against Trump, as Kasich himself has. That makes Trump’s decision to come to Delaware and host a rally for Balderson risky, with the White House and GOP politicos betting it necessary to counter Democratic voter enthusiasm.
In a typical freewheeling speech that touched on other subjects more than the special election, Trump lit into “Danny boy” as someone who blindly follows House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
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