On Monday July 30th, 2018 Vice President Mike Pence landed at John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. Vice President Pence was sent with an important task from The White House: secure Ohio 12 for Republican candidate Troy Balderson. Troy Balderson is a current State Senator for Ohio.
This special election taking place on August 7th is gaining national attention for the potential ripple effects of a democratic victory. Patrick Tiberi previously held the seat since being elected in 2000. Before Congressman Tiberi’s tenure on Capitol Hill, the seat was held by current Governor John Kasich who was elected to the seat in 1982 and who won by a close margin of 3%, and then maintained the seat until 2000, when Tiberi was first elected. Since 82, the Republican party has managed to hold this seat down with no trouble. Due to the early resignation of Tiberi, a special election adds additional worry to the Republican base.
A loss in Ohio 12 would give the Democrats new optimism and that optimism could be used in November to beat other Ohio Republicans. So, on a Monday morning the GOP sent Vice President Pence to speak to 400 people in a standing-room only location in Newark, Ohio. According to Owen Daugherty of The Columbus Dispatch, the Balderson campaign received over 1,000 rsvps for this event, yet the room could only hold 400.
Shortly after 1PM Ohio Republican Chairwoman Jane Timken stepped onto stage to rally the base before introducing State Senator Troy Balderson. Timken talked about the “so called” blue wave and how important beating “dishonest Danny” O’Connor, the Democratic opponent for Balderson. Timken then gave the traditional rallying call about Republican leadership, including hitting Nancy Pelosi, “Do $1400 sound like crumbs to you? Not to me!” Recently O’Conner admitted he would support Pelosi for Speaker if she is the chosen Democratic candidate.
Balderson came onto the stage and immediately exclaimed to the crowd “I don’t hate puppies,” as I had heard from supporters before the event the Democrats were saying he did (yet another example of the “loving” left). He then thanked a veteran, who the Vice President also thanked. Pence went on to recognize every veteran in the room. Senator Balderson also thanked his mom, who was in attendance, and promised to protect her social security.
The Vice President was introduced into the crowd in Newark with a thunderous applause from the audience. Pence continued to give the usual “MAGA” speech, hitting on the border wall, increasing military funding, conservative justices, among other conservative principles. Pence also spoke about how Balderson voted to cut taxes by 5 billion and how Ohio has gained over 500,000 jobs under Republican leadership. There were many pauses during the speech for applause from the largely Make America Great Again hat filled room.
Many in Ohio believe the blue wave brings a real threat to Ohio 12. O’Conner’s campaign released a poll last month claiming that Balderson’s lead had slipped to 48 to 43, down from his previous 7 point lead. Real clear politics currently has the spread in favor of Balderson, who is shown leading by 11 points.
Ohio 12 is showing out to be far more competitive than it was in past years with a long term incumbent. As August 7th inches closer day by day, the district still maintains a Republican majority within the polls. Even though O’Conner has appealed to the Kasich voters, John Kasich’s endorsement of Balderson will most likely carry more weight.
While, there is no for sure thing in politics. We know Ohio 12’s special election will be closely watched around the nation. If Democrats manage to pick up this seat it will be very difficult to hold it down once again in November.
On August 7th we’ll know which party wins this battle of the midterms, Vice President Pence says he hopes that, “Here in Ohio 12, history will record that the red wave started here.” Soon we will know if the Vice President’s prediction comes true.