The final special election before the November midterms was held in Ohio’s 12th Congressional district.
Democrats and the media were counting on the results to show whether or not a blue wave was building before November.
And when the votes were counted, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer couldn’t believe what they saw.
Republican Troy Balderson declared victory over Danny O’Connor in a special election to fill the final three months of retiring Republican Congressman Pat Tiberi’s seat.
Balderson led O’Connor by a little over 1,700 votes, which is enough for the Republicans to withstand any provisional ballot or recount margin.
Leading up to the election, Republicans had been terrified of losing the seat, so Donald Trump staged a dramatic rally 48 hours before the vote to boost the GOP’s prospects.
It paid off as Balderson avoided disaster.
Trump tweeted that his rally made all the difference:
When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov.
But anti-Trump media outlets like CNN fixated on the fact that Balderson won by just 1 point in a district that Trump had carried by 11 points in the Presidential election.
They declared this as evidence that Americans had turned against Trump and the GOP was set for a massive wipeout in November.
In fact, the entire media frame was that because the race was too close to call, the GOP shouldn’t even be credited for the victory.
But critics saw a coordinated effort. The Associated Press refused to call the race, while CNN stayed on the air until 1 am in order to signal the proper anti-Trump framing to the rest of the press.
But there were troublesome signs for the GOP.
Republican turnout was down in key areas.
Dave Wasserman of The Cook Political Report tweeted:
In the end, Franklin Co. cast impressive 35% of the #OH12 vote & came thru big for O’Connor (D). Turnout was weak in heavily R rurals. But Balderson (R) held onto enough trad R suburbs in Delaware Co., likely thanks to Gov. Kasich (R).
There have been nine special elections held since President Trump took office.
The Republicans have won eight of them.
But that isn’t the story the media wants to tell.
Media outlets like CNN and the Associated Press believe it is their job to drive Donald Trump from office.
The simple fact is that no one knows what will actually happen in November.
CNN was giddy all night because they believed the close race in Ohio’s 12th Congressional district meant Democrat enthusiasm will power the left to victory.
But there is one simple reality that cannot be disputed – that a Republican won the election, therefore the Democrats did not gain any ground in their battle to win back Congress.
They entered the night needing to win 23 seats to flip control of the House of Representatives, and Balderson’s victory means the Democrats were not able to cut into that number.
Do you think there will be a blue wave in November?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.