Trump won Ohio's 12th District by 11 points, but Democrat Danny O'Connor's grassroots support has already resulted in a huge early voting lead.
Early voting has begun in the special election for Ohio’s 12th District congressional seat, and available results show Democratic ballots outnumbering Republican ballots by a 2-1 margin.
The 12th District special election takes place Aug. 7, and will decide who serves out the remainder of the term that was vacated by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), who was one of several Republicans rushing to leaving Congress before their terms were completed.
Earlier this week, the conservative Columbus Dispatch endorsed Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor, and criticized his opponent, state Sen. Troy Balderson, for blindly supporting Trump.
According to Columbus Dispatch editor Darrel Rowland, Democratic ballots were leading Republican ballots by 2-1 in early in-person voting.
NEW: 1st two days of early in-person voting for special election in Franklin County portion of 12th Congressional District:
422 Dem ballots, 210 GOP – a 2-1 margin for party of Danny O'Connor over Troy Balderson's
— Darrel Rowland (@darreldrowland) July 12, 2018
That result underscores the level of grassroots support that O’Connor has in the district. Indivisible Ohio has been canvassing and phone-banking in support of O’Connor, and the group reports that many of its volunteers are first-timers to political campaigns.
Balderson, by contrast, has been propped up by outside groups that have dropped a ton of money into the race, and now appears to have very little to show for it.
That’s because in addition to his support for Trump, Balderson has made it clear that he intends to attack health care for millions, including hundreds of thousands of people in his own district, by joining efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Balderson is also an extremist who says he won’t take guns away, even from someone who the court rules is dangerous.
Since Trump took office, Democrats have been flipping seat after seat in special elections, and if these early results are any indication, voters in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District are well on their way to flipping another one for Danny O’Connor.