Politics Five takeaways from Ohio's too-close-to-call special election

11:11  08 august  2018
11:11  08 august  2018 Source:   thehill.com

High-stakes Ohio election just got closer after county finds hundreds of uncounted votes

  High-stakes Ohio election just got closer after county finds hundreds of uncounted votes Election officials in Ohio found 688 previously uncounted votes, helping Danny O'Connor shave Troy Balderson's lead in congressional district race.Election officials in Franklin County found 688 previously uncounted votes in a Columbus suburb. The result: O'Connor had a net gain of 190 votes, bringing the race's margin down to 1,564.

The special election in Pennsylvania’ s 18th District remains too close to call , with Democrat Conor Lamb holding a slim lead over GOP opponent Rick Saccone as of Wednesday morning. Lamb, however, has declared victory in the race.

Key takeaways from Ohio special election and primaries in four other states. WASHINGTON – Voters in five states went to the polls Tuesday to choose a new congressman from Ohio and party Ohio ’ s special election remained too close to call Tuesday night but this race should have been a

a person sitting in a chair © Provided by The Hill Republicans are clinging to a razor-thin lead in Ohio's hotly contested House special election.

It was a race the GOP had expected to win easily, but that ended up demonstrating the high level of Democratic enthusiasm ahead of the midterms in November.

The race in Ohio's 12th district was too close to call as of late Tuesday night, with Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson leading Democrat Danny O'Connor by less than a percentage point. At least 3,367 provisional ballots were yet to be counted, making the outcome unknown, potentially for days.

Republicans may have avoided an electoral disaster, but the closeness of the race provided ominous signs for the party as it looks to hang on to its 23-seat majority in the House in November.

Ohio special election vote count drags on, as state defends tally

  Ohio special election vote count drags on, as state defends tally While Kansas’ tight GOP gubernatorial primary election was finally resolved Tuesday, it could be days before voters know the official result in last week's other nail-biter race: Ohio's special election for the 12th District House seat. The district, in the suburbs of Columbus, has had a Republican representative for more than three decades. While Democrats put up a fight into the final hours, Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson is ahead in the vote count and has already declared victory over Democrat Danny O’Connor. But the counting continues.

Absentee ballots may settle race between Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb for Pennsylvania' s 18th congressional district. FOX News Channel

A special election for an open U. S . House seat in Ohio that was viewed as a referendum on President Trump remains too close to call . With 99 percent of early and election day ballots counted, Republican Tony Balderson led Democrat Danny O’Connor by 1,688 votes, or 0.8 percent

Meanwhile, in other races on Tuesday, women candidates swept the field, providing more signs that 2018 could indeed end up the "Year of the Woman." And the ultimate impact of President Trump's endorsements - and of progressive stars Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - in various races proved to be uncertain.

Here are the key takeaways from Tuesday's races:

GOP leads, but Dems see bright spots

O'Connor may be down, but the Democrats are not out.

Democrats were able to make a genuine contest for a seat that has been in Republican hands for decades, showing further signs that Trump may be struggling with suburban voters in Ohio's 12th district.

Also helping: Democrats recruited a young candidate who campaigned hard and sought to appeal to moderate voters, without demonizing Trump -- a similar strategy that Rep. Conor Lamb (D) used to win a special House election in Pennsylvania in March.

O'Connor leads Balderson in special election early returns

  O'Connor leads Balderson in special election early returns Democrat Danny O'Connor has jumped out to a significant lead over Republican Troy Balderson in early returns in Ohio's congressional special election. Voters on Tuesday were choosing between Balderson, a state senator, and O'Connor, the Franklin County recorder, to complete the term of a Republican who retired in January. An O'Connor win would elate Democrats hoping for a backlash against President Donald Trump, who campaigned for Balderson.Voters on Tuesday were choosing between Balderson, a state senator, and O'Connor, the Franklin County recorder, to complete the term of a Republican who retired in January.

Wisconsin special elections : Five takeaways in races that saw Democrats win one and GOP win another. Tuesday' s special elections provide clues in Wisconsin. Post to Facebook. CLOSE . Caleb Frostman talks with supporters after it' s announced he has won the election for Senate District

— Democrat Conor Lamb looks likely to win Pennsylvania’ s close special election , giving his party a significant morale boost heading into the battle for the House majority this fall. Here are five takeaways from Lamb’ s upset win

Republicans sought to make House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a key issue in the campaign, trying to closely tie O'Connor to her, but the Democrat appears to have been largely able to overcome the attacks and keep the race close, despite an MSNBC interview in which the candidate admitted he would ultimately support whomever the party nominated as leaders.

GOP may be in genuine trouble in the suburbs

The race showed Republicans may have a potential problem on their hands in suburban districts.

Democrats are targeting well-educated voters and women residing in the suburbs who have historically backed Republicans, but who are frustrated with the president and want members of Congress who will be a check on him.

There are 68 other GOP-held seats that are more favorable for Democrats than Ohio's 12th district. Of those seats, Trump won 45 of them by a smaller margin than in Ohio. And the other 23 seats are held by Republicans, but won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Missing ballots, like those in Ohio special election, often happen – and are just as often found

  Missing ballots, like those in Ohio special election, often happen – and are just as often found Under the rush of election nights, voting precinct officials nationwide often misplace ballots or send them to the wrong office. And those ballots are just as often discovered via audits or recounts, analysts said."It's not unusual," said Fred Wertheimer, founder and president of Democracy 21, a watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C. "It's one of the reasons people do recounts in close races."Post-election audits also yield uncounted votes, as happened this week in the special election for Ohio's 12th congressional district.

— A special election for a U. S . House seat was too close to call late Tuesday as Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone were separated by several hundred votes in a race that had become a test of President Trump’ s political clout.

Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory in the very close special Congressional election in Pennsylvania. Republican Rick Saccone is not giving up. AP has not called the race and some absentee ballots are still being counted. (March 14) AP.

Democrats are playing in a large swath of those seats, which are more than enough seats to target in their battle to take back the House this fall. Many of those seats are also in suburbs outside of a bigger city, particularly in the Midwest and Rust Belt. They'll have to continue playing heavily in those types of districts if they want a shot at taking back the House.

Trump's impact on election remains uncertain

Trump was quick to claim credit for Balderson's too-soon-to-call victory on Tuesday after appearing at a last-minute campaign rally. Though his visits can boost the Republican base, it remains to be seen how helpful - or hurtful - they can be in attracting more moderate and suburban voters.

Furthermore, Trump also has shown a willingness to nominate more extreme candidates than even his fellow Republicans had been hoping for, raising concerns about their prospects in the fall.

Trump appeared to do well in Michigan, where military veteran John James, whom Trump effusively endorsed, prevailed over his GOP primary opponent in Michigan's Senate race. James offers a compelling story as a black Republican candidate running for a body that counts Tim Scott (R-S.C.) as its sole black GOP senator.

Ohio Dems optimistic, Republicans cite encouraging turnout numbers as polls close in pivotal special election

  Ohio Dems optimistic, Republicans cite encouraging turnout numbers as polls close in pivotal special election Polls have closed in several key state races, including a tightly contested Ohio special election widely seen as a referendum on President Trump and Republicans' legislative agenda ahead of the midterm elections in November.Load Error

The special election on Tuesday in Pennsylvania’ s Eighteenth Congressional District was an expensive, intense political battle that both the Democratic and Republican (Lamb went ahead and declared victory early Wednesday morning, before the news organizations were ready to call the race.)

Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory early Wednesday in Pennsylvania’ s special House election that was officially too close to call but seen by some political observers as a clear message to Republicans prior to November’ s midterm elections .

But Trump also endorsed Secretary of State Krish Kobach, a conservative firebrand, over incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer in Kansas's gubernatorial primary. The race remained too close to call. But if Kobach prevails, he could face tough odds in the general election, even in red-state Kansas.

But Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez's influence is also unclear

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez's forays into the primaries were greeted with much fanfare.

But in Michigan, their choice for governor, Democrat Abdul El-Sayed, ultimately fell to Gretchen Whitmer (D), a former Democratic leader in the state Senate. Likewise, the Ocasio-Cortez-backed Democrat in Missouri's 1st District, Cori Bush, failed to edge out longtime incumbent Lacy Clay in his primary.

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old democratic socialist who beat out Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in her House primary in June, have become standard bearers for the progressive movement -- and Democrats have been eyeing what kind of impact they will have in primaries this year.

Questions also linger beyond the primaries, given doubts about whether their message will resonate with voters in more rural and suburban parts of the country, particularly in the Midwest.

Another candidate backed by the duo in Democratic House primary for Kansas' 3rd District, Brent Welder, led challenger Sharice Davids slightly early on Wednesday though the race was far from being called.

Key takeaways from Ohio special election and primaries in four other states

  Key takeaways from Ohio special election and primaries in four other states Nowhere are the stakes higher than in Ohio, which is held a special election to fill a vacant House seat.Here are our top takeaways from Tuesday's results:

up next: now reading: Five Takeaways From Tuesday' s Special Elections . To them, the real story is that they came close in a heavily Republican district – two, if you count South Carolina’ s 5th District, which also held an election last night.

5 takeaways from Debbie Lesko' s lackluster win in Arizona' s special election . RELATED: Special election : Tipirneni says 'race is still too close to call '.

But both Davids and Welder campaigned as progressives, posing a key test of whether policies such as "Medicare for all" can win over Kansas voters in a tough race against incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder (R) in the fall.

Another strong night for women

The "Year of the Woman" theme continued on Tuesday as more female candidates notched primary victories in crowded contests. That was particularly true in Michigan in races up and down the ballot.

Whitmer roared to victory in Michigan's gubernatorial primary. Whitmer, who held a substantial financial edge, defeated two male opponents who sought to run to the left of her.

In two competitive House seats in Michigan, Democrats Gretchen Driskell and Elissa Slotkin cruised to victory in their races. Both are considered top recruits by national Democrats as they go on to face GOP Reps. Tim Walberg and Mike Bishop, respectively.

While the race is too close to call in both primaries for retiring Rep. David Trott's (R-Mich.) seat, the Democratic and Republican nominees are likely to both be women.

With 86 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Lena Epstein, a staffer on Trump's Michigan campaign, was ahead of her closest competitor by 6 points. And on the Democratic side, Democrat Haley Stevens, who was endorsed by Hillary Clinton, holds a small lead.

And in the race to replace former Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) secured the nomination in a heavily Democratic seat. That means she'll likely become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.

And in Washington state, women also look poised for victories in two top House races.

Trump says Russia meddles in U.S. affairs, but so do others .
<p>President Donald Trump acknowledged during a rally Saturday in Ohio that Russia, China and possibly North Korea have meddled in U.S. affairs and that such activity may increase as the nation’s economy booms.</p>“It's a lot of people. We have to stop it. We have to stop meddling and stop everybody from attacking us," Trump said. "But there are a lot. Russia is there, China is there. We are doing well with North Korea, but they're probably there.

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