Republicans Spent Big to Win a Special Election. Now They're anxious

Brent Welder’s election night party was at the Hilton Garden Inn 5th and Minnesota Kansas City Kansas

The race also received extra national attention due to President Donald Trump's involvement, as he endorsed Balderson and stumped for the Republican candidate in OH last weekend.

Democrats looking for a shocking underdog win in a special election in OH on Tuesday are hoping not only to snatch a House seat in a historically Republican district, but also to energize their national effort to fight President Trump's agenda and reclaim a congressional majority.

O'Connor, a local county official, tried to project a moderate image, saying he would support new Democratic leadership in Congress and work with Republicans but also criticizing the Trump tax cut. Polls began to show a close race in July, and the GOP frantically dumped money and resources into the district to try to shore up Balderson.

Although the razor-thin race had not been called by any major news organizations, and was automatically going to a recount, Balderson, 56, delivered a victory speech and both the National Republican Congressional Committee and Trump put out statements declaring victory for their preferred candidate.

On Twitter, Trump called Kobach a "strong and early supporter of mine". And if this race was close, then the battlefield is easily wide enough to make Republicans sweat. "Strong on Crime, Border & Military", the president tweeted on the eve of the election. O'Connor had raised almost $1.5 million and had spent $1.35 million, but had vastly outspent Balderson when it came to television advertising.

The president also traveled to the district over the weekend in an attempt to give Mr. Balderson a boost.

Republicans were hoping for Democratic discord in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, a suburban Kansas City district where several candidates were fighting for the chance to take on Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in November.

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. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who narrowly lost the 2017 special election in a sign of some Republican trouble to come.

Brent Welder’s election night party was at the Hilton Garden Inn 5th and Minnesota Kansas City Kansas
Brent Welder’s election night party was at the Hilton Garden Inn 5th and Minnesota Kansas City Kansas

Mr O'Connor and his Democratic allies have railed against the tax plan, casting it as a giveaway for the rich that exacerbates federal deficits and threatens Medicare and Social Security.

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.

Binder on Kansas: With 1 percent reporting in the Kansas GOP gubernatorial primary, the establishment-backed Colyer has doubled his lead over Trump-endorsed Kris Kobach. The field includes Fayrouz Saad, who would be the first Muslim woman in Congress.

Polls are now open for today's Kansas Democratic and Republican primaries.

Mr. Hawley, the Missouri attorney general, advances to face Democratic Sen.

Senate contests in Missouri and MI will come into focus as two vulnerable Senate Democrats, Missouri's Claire McCaskill and Michigan's Debbie Stabenow, are expected to easily claim their party's nominations.

Iraq War veteran John James also won the Michigan GOP Senate primary to take on Democratic Sen.

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