Today is the day that the Ohio Secretary of State was to certify the results in the Special Election that happened in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District back on August 7. After election night, Republican Troy Balderson, President Trump’s endorsed candidate, was leading by around 1,500 votes over Democrat Danny O’Connor, which meant the final results would take weeks to certify until all ballots, including provisional and absentee, were thoroughly counted. After weeks of verifying vote tallies and waiting for various county jurisdictions to provide their final numbers, the final results have been declared in Balderson’s favor.
Report from the New York Times on the Balderson victory and what it means for the race, which will literally be re-fought again in November:
Republicans succeeded in holding on to a traditionally safe congressional district in Ohio on Friday when State Senator Troy Balderson eked out a narrow victory over a Democratic challenger, Danny O’Connor, according to The Associated Press, in a special election whose result was too close to call for nearly three weeks. Mr. Balderson will hold the seat for just over two months before he faces Mr. O’Connor again in the general election in November.
Party leaders celebrated Mr. Balderson’s win, but the nail-biting result — and the prospect of repeating the race so soon — amplified Republican anxieties about the midterm elections, when they must contend with demoralized centrist Republicans, popular unease with the Trump administration and energized Democrats eager to retake control of the House.
The final result, a difference of 0.8%, falls outside the margin of automatic recount territory. Here are the detailed numbers from WOSU in Ohio:
Friday was the deadline for five counties – Franklin, Licking, Marion, Morrow and Richland – to certify their election results. After counting absentee and provisional ballots, Balderson defeated Democrat Danny O’Connor by 1,680 votes, a margin of just 0.8 percent.
What about a recount? Looks unlikely given the final vote tallies. Plus, why would Democrats pay for a recount when they get another crack at Balderson in November?
O’Connor hoped to trigger an automatic recount, which is triggered when the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent. However, Balderson’s margin of victory was 520 votes outside of that window.
Donald Trump won Ohio’s 12th district by over 11 percentage points in 2016, which means the win by Balderson at just 0.8 percent is eye-opening for Republicans. Call this one done for now, but we will see O’Connor and Balderson back on the ballot for the midterm election on November 6, 2018.