President Trump will have a lot on the line when voters in Ohio’s 12th District go to the polls in a special election Tuesday.
Trump has gone all-in for Republican candidate Troy Balderson, even holding a rally to rev up support for him in the district on Saturday evening.
Soon after that event, Trump reiterated his support for Balderson via a tweet, adding that the Democratic candidate, Danny O’Connor, would be “a total puppet for Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters.”
Trump’s investment of political capital in Balderson is a risky bet. In a district last won by a Democrat in 1980 — and one that Trump himself carried by 11 points in 2016 — the race looks like a dead heat.
Of the two most recent opinion polls, from Emerson and Monmouth University, one gave O’Connor a 1-point edge and the other gave the same statistically insignificant advantage to Balderson.
Democrats shy away from predicting an O’Connor victory with any real confidence. But they say their party has already scored a moral victory — and delivered a rebuke to Trump — by making the contest so close.
“Trump’s already lost no matter what the outcome,” insisted Jerry Austin, a longtime, now-retired Democratic strategist in the s
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