Republicans are clearly desperate to prop up Troy Balderson as Democrat Danny O'Connor gains momentum.
As Democrats come closer to flipping an Ohio district that Trump won by 11 points, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has resorted to campaign mailers that are being called “creepy and dystopian” by a major conservative-leaning local newspaper.
For several weeks, the RNC has been sending direct mail pieces on behalf of Republican candidate Troy Balderson that bear the intimidating message: “Neighbors talk. What will your neighbors say about you if you don’t vote? Remember, voting is public record.”
In an editorial published Tuesday morning, The Columbus Dispatch called the mailers “creepy and dystopian for our taste.”
By asserting that “voting is public record,” the GOP ads could easily mislead voters into believing that their neighbors can look up which party or candidate they voted for. And that might influence people to vote differently than they otherwise would.
The Dispatch noted that while “voter rolls in Ohio do show whether a person voted or not in each election and, in primaries, whether he or she chose a Republican or Democrat ballot,” those records also “don’t show how or for whom anyone voted.”
The conservative paper endorsed Republican Pat Tiberi (R-OH) the last time Ohio’s 12th congressional district was in play — but then endorsed Democrat Danny O’Connor in the special election to fill the seat that Tiberi vacated.
The Dispatch cited Balderson’s blind support of Trump as a major factor in its decision to endorse O’Connor instead.
O’Connor was also endorsed by one of Balderson’s Republican primary rivals, Lawrence Cohen.
And as Reuters recently reported, some Republican women seem to be abandoning Balderson in favor of Danny O’Connor — largely thanks to Trump.
Mike Pence has already made two visits to the district to try and rescue Troy Balderson.
The GOP’s creepy mailer is yet more evidence that Danny O’Connor’s strong showing in Ohio has Republicans in a justifiable panic.