Embattled Rep. Troy Balderson is getting a million-dollar bailout.
Unable to generate the support he needs on his own, Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH) must once again turn to outside dark money groups to prop up his struggling campaign.
Politico reports that a Trump-linked super PAC is about to pour in $1 million to bolster the flagging Balderson campaign against surging Democratic nominee Danny O'Connor.
The Trump-linked group, America First Action, "feels that the race has become increasingly competitive and Balderson is being outspent significantly," according to Politico. They plan on spending the $1 million on television ads, digital advertising, and direct mail.
In an August special election, Balderson relied on millions of dollars of outside support to squeak out a narrow win over O'Connor, even though the district is drawn to heavily favor Republicans.
Since then, however, O'Connor has massively outraised Balderson to prepare for their general-election rematch.
While fundraising is not an exact measure of enthusiasm, election experts often use it as a proxy. Two groups, Cook Political Report and Inside Elections, have changed their rating in recent weeks to favor O'Connor — moving the race from "Lean Republican" to a toss-up.
The entrance of big-money outside groups seems to be a desperate bid to save a floundering incumbent.
But money isn't Balderson's only struggle.
The normally conservative Columbus Dispatch has also endorsed O'Connor over Balderson for the second time.
Both times, the Dispatch gave the same reasons: O'Connor would be an independent voice for common-sense solutions, while Balderson is a Trump lackey who refuses to distance himself from a belligerent, vulgar, and often racist bully.
In his brief tenure as a member of Congress, Balderson has already submitted to Trump's will by voting to add trillions to the national deficit in order to shower tax breaks onto the richest one percent.
With the election fast approaching, Balderson won't even debate O'Connor. At a recent forum, Balderson blandly read a stump speech for three minutes before bolting out the door, which O'Connor said showed Balderson's "contempt for voters."
Balderson is in a weaker position thanks to his poor fundraising and his stubborn refusal to face his constituents or his opponent.
So once again, he must rely on Trump's patronage to bail him out — and the mutual back-scratching will surely continue if Balderson makes it back to Congress.