OH poll is a key test for Trump

Tom Steyer speaks at the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans Louisiana on Thursday Aug. 2 2018. The liberal donor

Trump has backed Republican Troy Balderson, who is facing Democrat Danny O'Connor in the last special congressional election before November's midterm elections.

Why? With 100 percent of precincts reporting, and with the early vote counted, Balderson leads O'Connor by 1,754 votes out of 202,521 votes cast.

Ohio Govenor John Kasich, a leading voice in the GOP's shrinking anti-Trump wing, once represented the district in Congress.

Trump took credit for the apparent Republican victory, saying on Twitter that Balderson's campaign made "a big turn for the better" after he campaigned for him in the district on Saturday night.

Troy Balderson appeared to squeak out a win over the Democratic nominee, Franklin County recorder Danny O'Connor.

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GOP aligned groups sunk more than $5 million into the race, while outside groups backing the Democrat invested more than $1 million.

"I'm just exhausted of the rhetoric of 'They're the bad guys, we're the good guys,"' said Moffitt, 29.

That narrow edge came in a district anchored in suburban Columbus, Ohio that President Trump won by 11 percentage points in 2016 and hasn't elected a Democrat in 35 years. "That was not good", the president tweeted.

Mr Balderson and Mr O'Connor will have to fight the seat again in November. "At our core we've always been a party about people - how we empower people against big corporations and against the exploitation we've seen for a long time".

Republicans focussed on mobilising their voters through negative advertisements portraying the Democratic candidate as a puppet of coastal elites while the Democrats' messaging centred on protecting access to healthcare and social security.

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Balderson's campaign manager did not dispute Kasich's claim Monday, instead declining to comment directly on it.

Mike Flynn, a hospital unit coordinator from suburban New Albany northeast of Columbus, voted for Balderson as a show of support for Tiberi. And both O'Connor and Balderson will face voters again on November 6, having both won their party's primaries for the general election. Described by campaign operatives as a "Whole Foods" district, the largely suburban region features a more affluent and educated voter base than the typical Trump stronghold.

O'Connor has dominated Balderson on the local airwaves. The Republican campaign arm and its allied super PAC was forced to pick up the slack, spending more than $4 million between them. The field includes Fayrouz Saad, who would be the first Muslim woman in Congress.

"Josh Hawley has established himself as a conservative champion for Missouri families, and we have no doubt he will beat Claire McCaskill this November", said Chris Hansen, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

According to CNN's Eric Bradner, there are roughly 70 House seats held by the GOP which are less conservative than Ohio's 12th District - considerably more than they would need. It was also a sign that the party's strategy for the race - fully embracing President Donald Trump and his bombastic message in hopes of motivating Republican voters, rather than trying to soothe moderates' worries about the President - could backfire in similar districts in November's midterm elections.

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