As reported by FoxNews
Buoyed by a dramatic last-minute rally by President Trump, Republican State Senator Troy Balderson appeared to be inching closer to beating back a challenge by insurgent Democrat Danny O’Connor in Ohio’s special election for a vacant House seat Tuesday.
A victory in the race for the Ohio’s historically conservative 12th Congressional District would deny Democrats the major upset they had sought ahead of the November midterm elections. The winner takes the seat previously held by Republican Pat Tiberi, who resigned in January to take another job.
Speaking to cheering supporters Tuesday night, Balderson said O’Connor ran a “hard race” and claimed victory. And in a tweet Tuesday night, Trump wrote that Balderson had won a “great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting.”
When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2018
The race remains too close to call. Balderson maintains a slim one-percentage point lead with all precincts reporting, but there are at least 3,435 provisional ballots left to be reviewed and 5,048 outstanding absentee ballots. That’s enough for O’Connor to potentially pick up enough votes to force a mandatory recount.
Unofficial Ohio state election totals showed Balderson with 101,574 votes and O’Connor with 99,820 — a mere 1,754 vote difference.
State officials said that boards of elections cannot begin counting those additional ballots until the 11th day after the election, August 18.