Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said Sunday that the state's nail-biter special election does not "bode well" for Republicans ahead of November's midterms.
"It’s really kind of shocking because this should be just a slam dunk and it’s not," Kasich said on ABC's "This Week." "It really doesn’t bode well for the Republican Party because this ... shouldn’t even be contested."
Republican House candidate Troy Balderson is running in a hotly contested race for the state's 12th Congressional District, a seat that has been handily won by Republicans since 1980 and which President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE won by 11 points in 2016.
Balderson is up against Democrat Danny O'Connor, who has closed in on Balderson's once double-digit lead in recent polling. According to a poll last week from Monmouth University, Balderson received 44 percent support to O'Connor's 43 percent, with 11 percent undecided.
Trump sought to give a boost to Balderson's campaign at an Ohio rally Saturday night, even though Kasich said the candidate did not invite Trump.
Trump's trip to Ohio aimed to give Balderson a final push before Tuesday's election — an election that, the president hopes, will churn out another GOP win and bolster Republicans' confidence in November.
Democrats think they have a chance at winning the traditionally Republican-held seat on Tuesday and triggering the start of a blue wave in this year's midterms. Democrats face a tough challenge to winning back control of the House, however. They need to flip 23 seats, many of which are in suburban districts which mirror Ohio's 12th District.
Still, most political handicappers say Democrats could eke out a victory this fall. The Cook Political Report rates more than a half-dozen Republican seats as likely or leaning Democrat and dozens more GOP seats as toss-ups in November.