President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE on Saturday gave a shot in the arm to Republican House candidate Troy Balderson days before a special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District.
The GOP candidate joined Trump on stage, where both took shots at Democrat Danny O’Connor, whom they cast as an empty suit for House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Pelosi: Georgia primary ‘disgrace’ could preview an election debacle in November MORE (D-Calif.).
“Worst of all, Dishonest Danny O’Connor will vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker,” Balderson said to boos from the crowd.
Balderson and O’Connor are battling for a seat that has been held by Republicans since 1980 and which Trump won by 11 points in 2016.
But Democrats believe they could eke out a win in Tuesday’s special election — one which, they hope, could be a signal of a coming blue wave in November’s midterm elections.
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Recent polling from Monmouth University shows Balderson and O’Connor in a dead heat, with Balderson receiving 44 percent support to O’Connor’s 43 percent. Eleven percent remain undecided, according to the Wednesday poll.
Trump’s trip to Ohio is intended to give Balderson a final push — and it’s one the president hopes will result in a GOP win on Tuesday that would give Republicans more confidence in November.
Democrats have to flip 23 seats in order to win back control of the House, many of which are in suburban districts akin to Ohio’s 12th District.
Most political handicappers give them a decent shot of doing so. The Cook Political Report, for example, rates more than a half-dozen GOP-held seats as likely or leaning Democratic this fall — and dozens more GOP seats as toss-ups.
Trump ripped into Democrats during his speech in Ohio, saying that if the party gets more power, it will lead to open borders. He praised Immigration and Customs Enforcement, suggesting Democrats would seek to disempower it as it battles the MS-13 group.
He also touted his trade policies and the growing economy. Trump has imposed tariffs on China, Canada, Mexico and other countries — instigating a broad trade battle with Beijing that has spooked businesses and farm groups.