If you're looking for the most delusional and wildly inaccurate assessment of Ohio's Balderson-O'Connor contest, which still hangs in indecision, then you need look no farther than our trumpeting blowhard of a president: "When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36," tweeted POTUS last night. "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."
Not a syllable of that presidential puffery is faithful to facts. Balderson wasn't "down" by nearly 30 points; his pre-election standing merely represented early Democratic voting. Hence there was no "big turn for [Balderson's] better" in the ensuing days. And of course there was no "great victory" for the Republican candidate last night. In fact he lost bigly in the eyes of competent political analysis:
"The district hadn’t been represented by a Democrat in more than three decades," notes the Times' Frank Bruni. "The [retiring] Republican incumbent … won in 2016 by more than 35 points…. Trump won the district by 11."
Perhaps the most significant and Repubican-depressing fact to emerge from the contest was this: In the district's more populated counties, Franklin and Delaware, voter turnout was 42 percent; in the district's five rural counties, turnout averaged only about 30 percent. This bodes poorly for the ruling party that represents more uninhabited expanses than living Americans.
Equally disheartening to the party of dusty-field values must be the millions of dollars they poured into the race — far outspending Democrat O'Connor — and the incessant poundings they exacted on Nancy Pelosi's liberal hide. For that, in this heavily Republican district, they won but a draw. And now they must do it all over again, as Balderson and O'Connor gear up for November.
A more honest presidential tweet would have read: "When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he should have been leading 64 to 36. That would have been typical of his district. Yet after my unhinged tirade Saturday night, there was nothing but flatlining for Balderson. Now Troy has perhaps won a great big nothing-but-embarrassment during a very tough time of the year for voting, since I represent his party. And he will lose BIG in Nov."