Trump sends, deletes tweet urging Ohio voters to support candidate not in special election

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE sent a tweet on Thursday urging Ohio voters to support Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversNational Retail Federation hosts virtual 'store tours' for lawmakers amid coronavirus Stronger patent rights would help promote US technological leadership Republicans to introduce House version of Scott police reform bill MORE (R-Ohio) in the state's upcoming special election in which Stivers is not a candidate.

"Congressman Steve Stivers of Ohio has done a fantastic job as chair of the [National Republican Congressional Committee]," Trump wrote in the since-deleted tweet. "Go out and vote for Steve on Aug 7."

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The president deleted the tweet and posted a new message minutes later, urging Ohioans instead to vote for Troy Balderson, a GOP state senator who won a 10-way Republican primary to face Democrat Danny O'Connor in Tuesday's special election.

"Looking forward to being in the Great State of Ohio on Saturday night where I will be campaigning hard for a truly talented future Congressman, @Troy_Balderson. See you all then!" the president wrote several minutes later.

Balderson led O'Connor by a razor-thin margin — just one point — among potential voters in Tuesday's special election, according to the latest Monmouth University poll.

Trump will visit Ohio on Saturday to campaign for Balderson in a district that has been represented by the GOP since 1980. 

“This is still a Republican-leaning district with many metrics that continue to favor Balderson, but growing Democratic enthusiasm has made this race surprisingly competitive," said Patrick Murray, the poll's director.

Stivers is up for reelection in November after winning in primary election where he was unopposed in May. He will face Democrat Rick Neal in Ohio's 15th District, which is considered safely Republican.