Ohio Becoming a True “Battle-State” in the Upcoming Mid-terms
COLAMBUS – August 8, 2018
As November 6th approaches, the political struggle in the state of Ohio is becoming more and more intense. This was already evident in the special election held in the 12th Congressional District, where Republican Troy Balderson competed with Democrat Danny O’Connor and Green party candidate Joe Manchik.
The election gained the “special” status, since the Voters in Ohio’s 12th District chose a replacement for Representative Pat Tiberi, a Republican who resigned to work for a business group. The race was expected to be close, and both national parties had been spending heavily. However, whoever was about to lose, he would get a rematch in the regularly scheduled election in just three months.
The race, just as predicted by the analysts, was a really close one. Despite that unknown numbers of provisional ballots are yet to be counted, there has already been a sensation: O’Connor was considered to be the leader of the race, but it seems like he lost it. Balderson received more than 101 thousand votes, which is equal to 50,2 %, at the same time, gaining just 99 thousand votes, or – 49,3 %, O’Connor likely lost by a small margin.
Under these circumstances the role of third-party candidates is especially crucial. This time, in Ohio, Manchik from the Green party, managed to earn 0,6 %, a factor that would certainly help O’Connor to win, if he were to receive those votes instead. Despite having almost no chances to win themselves, third-party candidates are able to change the whole political picture of certain states by gaining an insignificant (at first glance) number of votes.
Republicans declared victory before midnight, but it could be days or weeks before there is a conclusive result in the race. And regardless of the outcome, Mr. Balderson and Mr. O’Connor will face each other again in three months, in the regularly scheduled November election.
Mr. Balderson spoke for only three minutes in a Doubletree Hotel ballroom filled largely with men, who briefly broke into a couple of chants of “Trump, Trump” that soon died out. Mr. Balderson alluded just briefly to Mr. Trump’s visit to support him.
“Over the next three months I’m going to do everything I can to keep America great again,” he said. “Danny O’Connor ran a hard race and I look forward to campaigning against him again this fall.”
Republicans prevailed in Ohio by wielding a set of divisive issues — including gun rights, immigration restriction and taxes — that mobilized just enough voters on their side, particularly in the more rural reaches of the district.... they also invoked Ms. Pelosi at every opportunity.
Democrats, in turn, are all-ready for the fight.
“We are in a tied ballgame,” Mr. O’Connor said at his election night party, refusing to concede. He then re-purposed his speech into an appeal for the general election in November; he and Mr. Balderson have both been nominated to face off again then. “We’re not stopping now,” he said. “We must keep fighting through November.”
No matter what the final result of the special election in Ohio would be (although we are likely to see a Balderson win), this case is another example which anticipates an intense and unpredictable election in November.