The Morning After
So, yesterday I wrote about how the actual story of the Ohio 12th Congressional race was that Democrats picked up 37 points from 2016, and whoever won the race was almost meaningless. I should have read more closely, because I didn't realize how even-more meaningless it was.
To be clear first, the race isn't over. It appears that Republican Troy Balderson will win, but he's only up by about .9 of a point, and there still several thousand provisional ballots to count. And by Ohio state law they bizarrely won't be counted for ten days! If the margin can be brought down to under .5 points, then an automatic recount kicks in.
But that's not the main point for what makes this even more meaningless than I thought.
It's that I had thought that the results of this election would carry over to the next Congress. In fact, no -- whoever is seated gets to be in office for a few months, and then has to run again in November! So, this election has ZERO impact on whether Democrats will take back control of the House.
There are a number of things it will be interesting to see here in November. For starters, neither candidate is likely to have the influx of money that they both did for the Special Election. There will be 435 races contending for the same outside fundraising. (Alas, that means I'll likely be inundated again by Danny O'Connor's emails. Thank goodness for the "Unsubscribe" button.) Also important is that since this once incredibly-safe GOP district no longer is, that means the Republican Party has to decide whether to feed it with money they hadn't been planning to -- which means less for other races -- or forego giving it anything, which means Balderson is on his own. That's somewhat the same case for O'Connor, except this wasn't ever a race Democrats looked at as safe. And finally, with 435 House races and 33 Senate races in November, Balderson can't count on a visit by Trump (though that might be a good thing).
The point is, there will be another race. This other race is actually the one that matters. And the factors of that race will be very different. (This also puts into perspective Danny O'Connor's hyperbolic emails and the dire importance of this Special Election for taking backing the House, since it actually had almost no importance.)
But the bottomline holds for this race, Danny O'Connor's strong effort, and races all other across the country -- in an incredibly Red, safe GOP district, Democrats cut the Republican margin by at least 36 points.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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