The special election for the Congressional seat in Ohio’s 12th Congressional district was definitely a lot closer than many observers had expected it to be. This was a district that was won by Donald Trump in 2016 by some eleven percentage points. However, the GOP candidate in that district was only able to hold on by a mere 0.8% of the vote according to Politico.
The vote in this district was actually so close that it took weeks upon weeks for the final results to officially be known. Provisional and absentee ballots had to be counted, and when the counting of that was finally completed, the results had Balderson (the GOP candidate) come out ahead by 1,680 votes. This was just 520 votes more than what would have been needed to have an automatic recount be triggered. That recount will not be necessary in this case, but the final results were still very shocking to a lot of people. It was just the latest sign that Democrats have a lot of the momentum and enthusiasm going in the 2018 election in the House. They are eager to pick up as many seats as they possibly can, and it is starting to look like this is going to happen.
Outcomes such as this are not the kind of outcomes that you would typically see in a normal political cycle. No, these are far outside the norm in that they are on the outskirts of what most people considered possible before Donald Trump became President and so much of the public started to turn against him both as a person but also because of his policy. Many Republicans are left in the awkward spot of trying to defend some of the accomplishments that the President has accomplished while at the same time trying to keep a safe distance from him and his scandals. It is a balancing act that varies district by district.
The GOP can be happy that they did not lose one district here that they might otherwise have lost had they not been able to just hold on by the skin of their teeth. It was definitely an outcome that many did not expect, but it was also something that could have been predicted in some sense given that Republicans have had such steep loses in so many other districts throughout this particular cycle and even looking forward into the future.