President Donald Trump also weighed in on several of the races—some of which people believe will be a roadmap for how Republicans respond to what is expected to be a highly competitive midterm election season later this year.
While the president declared victory for Republican Troy Balderson in Ohio, it was premature.
…..Congratulations to Troy Balderson on a great win in Ohio. A very special and important race!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2018
State rules require an automatic recount to occur when there is less than one percentage point between candidates.
Here’s what you need to know:
- In Ohio’s 12 Congressional District, Balderson leads Democrat Danny O’Connor by .9 percentage points, or just over 1,500 votes, according to the New York Times.
- While the race has not officially been called for Balderson, the president took a victory lap on Twitter on Tuesday night by claiming that him holding a rally for the candidate helped him score more votes. “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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
- CNN points out that more than 8,000 absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted, more than enough to close the gap between Balderson and O’Connor.
- Meanwhile, in Michigan, Abdul El-Sayed, a progressive candidate backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, lost to former State Senator Gretchen Whitmer in the state’s Democratic primary for governor.
- Polls from CNN show Whitmer with 54.3 percent of the vote compared to El-Sayed who garnered 29.8 percent of the vote. El-Sayed ran on a platform similar to Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, advocating for free public college, minimum wage hikes, and getting money out of politics.
- Trump also weighed in on the Republican Senate primary in Michigan, calling Republican John James a “future STAR of the Republican party.” James defeated Sandy Pensler handily on Tuesday night.
- In Michigan’s 13th House district, Rashida Tlaib won the Democratic primary and will likely become the first Muslim woman to be elected to Congress.
- In Missouri, Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill won her primary handily, with more than 500,000 votes compared to Republican Josh Hawley, who had just below 390,000 votes, according to the Times.
- McCaskill’s seat in the Senate is considered one that will be hotly contested during the midterm elections later this year.
- Voters in Missouri also blocked a so-called “right to work” law crafted by Republicans that would have banned the need for workers to pay union fees. NPR reports that 67 percent of voters voted to nix the law, with 33 percent voting to keep it.
- Another Trump-backed candidate, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—who was part of the president’s “voter fraud” commission—was locked in a tight race with Gov. Jeff Colyer in a race to be the state’s governor. As of Wednesday morning, Kobach led Colyer by less than 1,000 votes with 5 percent of precincts still needing to tally their votes.
- The president had endorsed Kobach on Twitter on Monday, calling him a “strong and early supporter of mine.”
- In Washington, Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell will square off against Republican Susan Hutchinson in the November election. The two finished in the “top two” during Tuesday’s primaries. Washington law says that the top two finishers, regardless of their party, face off in the general election.