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Republicans may be panicking over Ohio’s special election results

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Ohio’s special election to fill the seat of retiring Republican Congressman Pat Tiberi was too close to call by the morning after the election. Republican Troy Balderson’s lead was less than 1 percent ahead of his opponent, Democrat Danny O’Connor. Provisional and absentee ballots are being counted.

The results in the election, like previous special elections this cycle in the Georgia 6th Congressional District and Pennsylvania’s 18th, signal that Democrats are energized and fielding quality candidates even in places that have not been competitive for them in recent election cycles.

The story of this special election has become familiar across the country: Democrats are angry, motivated and active even in districts that have traditionally been safely Republican. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to enjoy advantages in congressional elections.

These advantages are mainly due to gerrymandering, which has been easier for Republicans because their voters are spread out across suburban and rural areas in a way that lets Republicans control more space. Those advantages have given Balderson a slight lead, but Republicans across the country may be concerned after this election.

This was supposed to be easy

In the 2010 elections, Republicans won the Ohio governor’s race and control of the state legislature. They used that power to redraw congressional districts in their favor, rendering districts like the OH-12 largely uncompetitive. President Donald Trump carried the district by 11 points in 2016.

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That environment meant that Democrats faced significant barriers even with Tiberi’s retirement. And Republicans seemed to do all the right things to ensure they kept the seat. Balderson is a fine candidate. He has a resume as a reliable Republican state legislator and has played by the rules. He holds mainstream Republican positions and avoids extremist rhetoric.

He is not a Rick Saccone, the firebrand who lost to Conor Lamb in a Pennsylvania special election earlier this year. Nor is he a Roy Moore, the controversial Senate candidate who lost the special Alabama election after allegations of sexual assault and statutory rape came out.

The Republican Party, at both state and national levels, got heavily engaged in this special election. They spent a lot of money on the race, particularly in the last weeks of the campaign. Millions of dollars were spent on television ads, saturating the airwaves at a level usually reserved for presidential elections in the days leading up to the election.

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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both held rallies in support of Balderson, and he received endorsements from Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Gov. John Kasich. The Ohio Republican Party was as active and united as they could be.

The midterm environment

The party not in control of the White House tends to do better in midterm elections, so it should come as no surprise that Democrats in Ohio were energized. One common explanation for this is that the difficulty of turning campaign promises into real results drives down enthusiasm among voters who become disappointed by their party’s struggles.

At the same time, enthusiasm rises among voters who see the governing party’s failures as confirmation of their own beliefs. This dynamic is, of course, exacerbated by President Trump’s historic unpopularity.

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There are dozens of other House seats currently held by Republicans that will be at least as vulnerable as Ohio’s 12th Congressional District in November. Many things went right for Republicans in this special election: a strong candidate, lots of advertising, and strong party unity among key actors. They probably put forth their best possible effort – yet it is still too close to call.

Will Republicans be able to devote resources to all of those other races? If not, or if those resources aren’t enough, then Democrats could make strong gains this year.

By Nathaniel Swigger, Associate Professor of Political Science, The Ohio State University

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This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Conversation


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Video shows alleged white supremacist being forced to clean black man’s truck after throwing bottle

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A video has gone viral on Twitter of a white man with at least one swastika tattoo being forced to clean a black man's car after throwing a bottle at it.

The video shows a bloodied white man after taking his shirt off to wipe down the side of the car. The tweet says, "This racist ass white boy threw a bottle at my cousin’s truck and well.... here’s the aftermath lmaooo"

The man filming the video tells the white man, "What's your f*cking problem?"

"I don't have a problem," the white man replies.

"I could split your other side," the man filming the video says.

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‘Here is your 2 minutes of hate from a noun a verb and 9-11’: Rudy Giuliani ripped after lying about Rep. Omar

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Former lawyer to President Donald Trump went nuts spreading lies about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Twitter Sunday, and what followed was a flood of people calling him out.

There is nothing racist about @realDonaldTrump. The criticism of#Squad is because of their hateful views of our federal agents, anti-semitism,referring to us as garbage etc.Have you ever heard them say,with its faults,the USA is the greatest country on earth. Maybe we can agree?

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2020 Election

Trump’s racist attacks on Dem lawmakers are a test run in case he faces Kamala Harris in 2020: MSNBC contributor

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Speaking with host Alex Witt on Sunday afternoon, an MSNBC contributor speculated that Donald Trump's racist attack on four female Democrats -- none of whom are white -- was a test run to see how far he can go attacking Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) should she be his opponent in the 2020 general election.

According to Democratic strategist Don Calloway, Trump may not have a grand strategy, but he's in "campaign mode" which brings out his barely concealed inner-racist.

"I'm not one to ascribe a strategy to the president when it's clear he's not a deep thinker, but he is, however, in campaign mode," he explained. "I see this as a good campaign device for him to gin up his base, fueled by the xenophobia and race-based hatred."

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