OH race too close to call but Trump claims victory

On Tuesday in the last special election before the midterms Democrats might just snag another deep red Congressional seat

Democrats need to win 23 seats to take back control of the House, and that path doesn't even run specifically through districts like Ohio's 12th.

The Associated Press does not declare winners in races subject to an automatic recount.

Balderson led over O'Connor by 50.1 percent to 49.3 percent, a 1,766-vote lead, with all precincts reporting.

Earlier in the week, Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for Balderson in Newark.

President Donald Trump is greeted by 12th Congressional District Republican candidate Troy Balderson as he arrives on Air Force One at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. He voted for Democrat O'Connor "so we don't have a one-party government". Strong on Crime, Border & Military.

Voters are heading to the polls to decide key races including governor where seven Republicans and five Democrats are seeking their party's nomination.

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Polls closed at 7:30 p.m., leaving Democrat Danny O'Connor and Republican Troy Balderson to await their fates in the tight race.

However, if Balderson keeps the victory, it will be short-lived - the seat will go up for election again in November for the general midterm election.

But, as was the case in Pennsylvania, outside spending by Republican groups dwarfed the Democrats.

On if the midterm elections are unlikely to be like 2010: I mean I'd be surprised if they lost half as many seats as they won in 2010, mostly because Republicans don't have as much exposure. When asked about this in the polling place parking lot by the Guardian, Balderson turned his back and left it to an accompanying aide to insist that Balderson really meant Danny O'Connor was a liberal.

It's unclear whether Trump's support helps or hurts his preferred candidate of Balderson. Described by campaign operatives as a "Whole Foods" district, the largely suburban region features a more affluent and educated voter base than the typical Trump stronghold.

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The narrow margin will be little comfort for Republicans anxious about the prospect of a Democratic wave heading into the November 6 elections, and it is certain to encourage Democrats who performed dramatically better than expected in a district Republicans have represented since the early 1980s.

According to data obtained by TIME, Balderson had only spent $507,206 on television ads as of August 3, while O'Connor had spent over $2 million.

O'Connor and his Democratic allies railed against the tax plan, casting it as a giveaway for the rich that exacerbates federal deficits and threatens Medicare and Social Security. The field includes Fayrouz Saad, who would be the first Muslim woman in Congress.

There are dozens of Republican-held seats more favourable to Democrats across the country than Ohio's 12th district, a predominantly rural and suburban seat previously held by the state's moderate Republican Governor John Kasich. He would join Tim Scott of SC as the only black Republican senators if he wins in November.

Trump himself campaigned at Balderson's side just 72 hours before Election Day, a weekend appearance to help energize his loyalists in a district the president carried by 11 percentage points.

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