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Danny O'Connor and Troy Balderson

The special election for the 12th District congressional seat in Ohio is still too close to call, with Republican state Senator Troy Balderson just 1,754 votes ahead of Democrat Danny O'Connor. There are still a lot of provisional and absentee votes to be counted, so if Balderson's .9 percent advantage gets down to under .5 percent of the vote, there'll be an automatic recount under Ohio law. Obviously, Balderson and Donald Trump have declared victory, because waiting for the final count is such Fake News.

Even if Balderson does hold on to his tiny margin, this is very good news for Democrats, especially going into the fall, since O'Connor did insanely well in a district gerrymandered to give Rs a heavy advantage, and in a race where Republicans outspent the Dems. Rs have held the seat for 80 years with one brief intermission, and since this was a special election to serve out the term of Pat Tiberi, who retired earlier this year to do Literally Anything Else, Balderson and O'Connor will go at it again in November.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump took all the credit for the HUGE VICTORY of a guy who may have eked out a win in a heavily Republican district that went to Trump by 10 points in 2016.


This was, you'll recall, the race where Trump tweeted out the wrong candidate's name before that game changing speech, deleted and corrected the tweet, then demanded an apology from the dishonest media for reporting he'd initially urged voters to turn out yesterday for a whole different dude. Guess now that Donald Trump personally brought Balderson back in a district a Republican ham sandwich should have won in a walk, the lying press will finally respect him.

O'Connor sees things a bit differently:

"I don't think he knows what he's talking about," O'Connor said of Trump during an appearance on CNN Wednesday morning. "Troy Balderson can have all the people he wants fly in from DC. I don't think it makes too much of a difference."

Even if the final tally doesn't go O'Connor's way (Ohio has 10 days to finish the count), this could bode well for the fall, as WaPo points out:

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats in the House to take control, and there are 72 Republican-held districts with partisan makeups that the Cook Political Report rates as the same as or more liberal than the Ohio district, which includes wealthy suburbs outside Columbus.

That's great, kids. Don't get cocky.

There's an even tighter squeaker in Kansas, where evil lying sack of shit Kris Kobach (R - Evil Lying Sack of Shit) leads the Republican primary for governor by just 191 votes over incumbent Jeff Colyer (R - Brownback got a Trump Job as Ambassador to Jebus). That's with all precincts reporting but provisional ballots not yet counted. Colyer issued a statement saying exacctly what you'd expect:

Given the historically close margin of the current tabulation, the presence of thousands of as yet uncounted provisional ballots and the extraordinary problems with the count, particularly in Johnson County, this election remains too close to call.

In the 2014 primary, 6333 provisional ballots were cast. The current margin is 0.06%. This is the equivalent of a 2 vote margin in a 5000 vote race with hundreds of votes left to count.

We don't have a statement yet from Kobach, who was endorsed by Trump at the last minute. We assume he's dancing around with underpants on his head and preparing to blame illegal immigrants for making the race so close. Not even Donald Trump is dumb enough to claim this one yet, we typed, suspecting Trump may soon demand the provisional votes be discarded and the election certified immediately, because "provisional" means "illegal."

Whichever Republican goober eventually wins will be faced in the fall by the Democratic primary winner, state Sen. Laura Kelly, who might actually have a fair chance against either in this perfectly crazy election year, especially Kobach. If you wanted to send her a donation, we'd be very proud of you. Kansas is overwhelmingly Republican, but after the budget chaos created by Sam Brownbach, Kelly has the best shot of any Dem in ages.

Elsewhere! In Washington state, which does those seriously weirdass "top two" primaries, Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the only woman in House Republican leadership, just barely took the top spot over Democrat Lisa Brown. As of this morning, McMorris Rodgers has 57,318 votes (47.52 percent of the total) and Brown 56,793 (47.09 percent). Since they'll face each other on the fall ballot, the exact numbers won't matter until then. Dems are also gunning for the Third District seat held by GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who took the top spot with 40 percent of the vote, with WSU professor and Democrat Carolyn Long a close second with 36.6 percent.

And it was a really good night for womenfolk in Michigan, where ladies -- they have the vote, did you know? -- won Democratic primaries over boy candidates for governor, and three, maybe four congressional districts. Gretchen Whitmer is the Dem pick for governor, running against some Republican, who cares, because Rick Snyder fucked up Flint so bad no Republican should win. And in the race to replace John Conyers, Rashida Tlaib won; the district is heavily Democratic and she should become the first Muslim woman in Congress, way to go!

Finally, a hell of a big win for workers and unions in Missouri, where voters decisively tossed out a "right to work" (with no rights at work) law passed by the Republican-held state legislature in 2017. Missouri law allows a referendum on new legislation if 100,000 residents sign petitions to put it on the ballot, and the voters REALLY did not like having workers' rights taken away: They voted the thing down by 67.3 percent in favor of repeal, with just 32.7 percent in support of keeping it. The law will not take effect, Fuck You to anti-union Republicans and their corporate donors. Here is AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka taking a victory lap:

It shows just how out of touch the Republican legislature is with their constituents [...] The workers in that state don't want anything to do with right to work.

Now get out there and take back a whole lot of state legislatures, because the rightwing assholes have been setting the rules for far too long, The End.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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