GOP congressman on verge of losing seat he barely won 2 months ago


Rep. Troy Balderson could become one of the shortest-serving members of Congress in history.

Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH) could go down in the history books with the likes of former Rep. Effingham Lawrence (D-LA). Lawrence is famous for the fact that his entire tenure in Congress amounted to one single day in 1875.

If Balderson loses his re-election bid, he will have served longer than Lawrence, but not by much. And election watchers are increasing the odds that Balderson could be on his way out.

Inside Elections, one of the nation's premiere election handicappers, recently moved the race from "tilt Republican" to a toss-up.

Balderson is once again facing Democrat Danny O'Connor in a Republican-leaning district that supported Trump by 11 points. The two ran in the August special election, where Balderson won a very narrow victory to finish out retiring Rep. Pat Tiberi's term. The election on Nov. 6 is for the full two-year term, beginning in January 2019.

One of the reasons Inside Elections changed their ratings was because of O'Connor's stellar fundraising since the special election. His campaign has raised $2.3 million since then, and $6 million in the third quarter total, by far the most by any congressional candidate in the country.

During the special election, outside dark money Republican groups propped up Balderson's campaign with millions of dollars worth of television ads. However, he "has not received similar support since then, with so many other House seats around the country in play," reports the Columbus Dispatch.

In a separate article about Republican fundraising woes, GOP strategist Terry Sullivan said, "Republican donors are smart folks. They're not going to give money to a losing cause."

O'Connor sees an advantage in more than just the fundraising numbers. The special election happened in early August, when many college students may have been out of town.

"The electorate's different now, too, because people are back on campus," O'Connor recently told the Washington Post. "We saw college precincts, in the special, where turnout was 5 percent of what it had been in 2016, and that's going to change dramatically."

In Balderson's brief tenure in Congress, he voted for an extension of the Republican tax scam that would have showered the wealthy with a disproportionate tax break while saddling the next generations with trillions of dollars in debt.

If he loses in November, Balderson's total time in Congress will be 120 days. According to the Columbus Dispatch, which endorsed O'Connor again, that's more than enough time.