I didn’t watch the news yesterday, because I’d rather watch tennis than actually have to pay attention to the 24-hour newscycle of doom and disappointment. The big news this week was the Ohio special election for the 12th congressional district. The district has always been a GOP stronghold, and Donald Trump won the district by 11-points. Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor went head-to-head with Republican Troy Balderson. Trump went to Ohio to stump for Balderson, and Trump took a big, personal interest in this election. And the result is… probably a recount. What separates Balderson and O’Connor is less than 2,000 votes.
Republicans appeared to have held off a Democratic surge on Tuesday in a traditionally conservative Ohio district many Democrats had hoped would serve up an unlikely victory and boost their chances of sweeping wins in November’s midterm elections. With a margin of 50.2% to 49.3%, the Republican Troy Balderson was narrowly ahead of the Democrat Danny O’Connor on Tuesday night in a congressional special election sparked by the resignation of the longtime incumbent Pat Tiberi to take a private sector job.
While Democrats will be disappointed that were not able to claim an outright victory, the tight margin will still be a reason for optimism. Republicans declared victory with Steve Stivers, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, saying “I’m proud that my fellow central Ohioan, Troy Balderson, will join me in Congress” and congratulating him on a “hard-fought victory”.
O’Connor, however, did not immediately concede, telling a crowd of supporters: “Can you believe how close this is? We are in a tie ballgame.”
With all votes counted, Balderson had a lead of 1,754 votes. However, according to the Ohio secretary of state, there remained 3,435 provisional ballots to be counted and 5,045 outstanding absentee ballots. If, after those are counted, the margin is within 0.5%, an automatic recount would be triggered.
Balderson is claiming victory, and Trump is claiming victory and Democrats are depressed, so it must mean that everything is pretty much the same as always. The added bonus here is that as it turns out, there was a Green Party candidate running in this congressional race, and he got about 0.6% of the votes, which means that Democrats were roasting Green Party voters all f–king night long.
We got kids in cages and asbestos coming back and people have the nerve to vote Green Party….
— Aaron (@TheSarcasmShow) August 8, 2018
“Hi. I’m a Green Party voter. I love the environment so damn much I keep accidentally electing climate-change deniers who are owned by the fossil fuel industry. Do I get a cookie now for being a nonconformist?”
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) August 8, 2018
Friends don’t let friends waste their vote on the Green Party when American democracy is being dismantled from within by Putin’s puppet and a complicit Republican party.
— Ryan Knight 🌊 (@ProudResister) August 8, 2018
This is the Green Party candidate poised to potentially play spoiler in the #OH12 race.
Anyone who voted for this buffoon should be loaded onto an iceberg and pushed out to sea.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) August 8, 2018
Dear Green Party: Can you PLEASE wait to make your symbolic votes at a time when our government isn’t being overrun by white supremacists??? Come @ me I don’t care.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 8, 2018
Dear Green Party: pic.twitter.com/gOeiSC8HQP
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) August 8, 2018
Photos courtesy of Getty.