Republican Rep. Troy Balderson's loyalty to Trump isn't going to help him with the Ohio women who are disgusted by Trump.
The day after Trump’s inauguration, millions of women took to the streets to protest Trump and his odious agenda. Nearly two years later, women are still leading the charge against Trump, which could spell disaster for Trump loyalist Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH).
Balderson narrowly won an August special election against Democratic challenger Danny O’Connor, eking out a victory of fewer than 2,000 votes. O’Connor is running for the seat again, and looking to build on his momentum in this former Republican stronghold.
And women, disgusted at Trump’s behavior, could help propel O’Connor to victory.
Christine Mulk, 64 of Columbus, “views the midterm election as a way to push back against Trump and a referendum on the Republican party in general,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I don’t like the constant lying or disrespect for women or other racial groups,” Mulk said.
Mulk is not alone. Trump’s favorability in Ohio is underwater, and even worse among women. Almost two-thirds of women, 65 percent, disapprove of Trump’s job performance.
Ohio State political scientist Paul Beck notes that college educated women in particular are dissatisfied with Trump.
“They are voters that are up for grabs in this election,” Beck told WOSU. “Again, all over the country, but certainly in the 12th district, and O’Connor may be able to make some inroads with them.”
Balderson, for his part, has aligned himself squarely with Trump and the Trump agenda. In fact, his unflinching loyalty to Trump is so concerning that the Columbus Dispatch has twice endorsed O’Connor.
Balderson’s devotion to Trump also played a role in the special election, where one woman made a prophetic prediction.
Tricia Kalmar, a reliable Republican voter, told Reuters at the time that she will support O’Connor because of Balderson’s alliance with Trump. At the time, she said she doesn’t want a “rubber stamp” for Trump representing her in Congress.
Kalmar’s prediction turned out to be true, as Balderson spent his few days in Congress slavishly devoted to carrying out Trump’s wishes. Balderson voted to add trillions of dollars to the national deficit in order to finance tax breaks primarily aimed at the wealthiest one percent.
In a close race, any one of a number of factors could turn the tide. A surge of young voters, for example, could put O’Connor over the top.
Or maybe it will be women, marching to the polls and sending a clear message to Congress that complicity in the Trump era is not acceptable.