Columbus, Ohio Irishman will cause the next huge upset on Tuesday if he wins the 12th District seat, a rock-solid Republican House seat for forty years
In Pennsylvania it was Democratic Party newbie Conor Lamb who turned the political world upside down by winning a congressional seat where Republicans were 19 points ahead at one point. Now it’s Columbus, Ohio’s Danny O’Connor, a Catholic Irishman, who may be the next big political story.
He worked in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and as a legal advocate helping veterans, immigrants, and families stricken by poverty. He is currently serving as Franklin County Recorder where he connects veterans with civilian job opportunities. He is running for Ohio’s 12th District seat in a special election taking place on Tuesday.
The Lamb victory showed that while President Trump’s endorsement works very well within the Republican Party it plays far more poorly in a Democratic/Republican shootout. The Ohio seat, where the previously unknown O'Connor is giving the Republicans conniptions, was a safe GOP seat for 40 years and Trump handily won the district by 11 points.
A month ago it seemed the GOP candidate Troy Balderston was home and hosed with a Monmouth University poll showing him ten points clear.
Then came the Conor Lamb effect part two.
A poll on Wednesday by Monmouth showed Balderston leading by a single point and all the momentum and enthusiasm on the Democratic side. Suddenly, the last minute trips by Vice President Pence and now President Trump start to make sense.
Heading in to November elections the last thing the GOP wants is another Democratic upset which would further unsettle the party and ask the forbidden question: Does Trump help or hurt the party?
There are no prizes for guessing where the GOP is losing out - it’s with women.
As the Washington Post noted this week “Nearly 6 in 10 suburban women strongly disapprove of Trump. And perhaps because of this, Democrats have a nearly 30-point edge with suburban women," as The Washington Post Dan Balz wrote this earlier this month:
“The disconnect between President Trump and female voters is serious and not getting better. That’s a potentially big problem for Republicans “]
And it is clearly a big problem in Ohio. The Stormy Daniels affair, the promise to end Roe V Wade, the splitting up of families at the border have all taken their toll on the Trump vote.
The New Republic just published an article which asked “Who’s afraid of Danny O’Connor (Donald Trump is). We will know whether that fear is justified on Tuesday next. It is likely to be a late night if the polls are accurate and the Russians don’t infiltrate the ballot boxes.