The still-undecided, very special election in Ohio’s twelfth congressional district should send this message to GOP leaders on Capitol Hill: Energize Republicans and enervate Democrats.
Ohio-12 has been in GOP hands since 1983. President Donald J. Trump won it by eleven points. Thus, Republican Troy Balderson should have sleepwalked to victory in this constituency, which Republican Pat Tiberi vacated on January 31 to head the Ohio Business Roundtable. Instead, Democrat Danny O’Connor marched to a near-tie. Trump’s Saturday rally may have electrified Republicans: Balderson holds a 1,754-vote edge, at this writing. However, 5,048 absentee and 3,435 provisional ballots remain uncounted. Final results may not emerge until August 24.
Even if Balderson prevails, this should have been easy.
Like overinflated inner tubes, if Democrats were any more pumped up, they would explode. Meanwhile, a July 22 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that a stunning 88 percent of Republican voters support Trump. But whether GOP turnout will keep Congress Republican is the most urgent question in American politics.