Dem party boss: Ohio race gives me hope

Dem party boss: Ohio race gives me hope
© Greg Nash

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE on Wednesday morning said the Ohio special election on Tuesday night, which is still too close to call, has left him feeling "optimistic" about his party's chances in November.

"This gives me optimism," Perez said on CNN's "New Day." "Not only about this seat but about other House seats, the U.S. Senate and governor’s races." 

GOP candidate Troy Balderson is holding on to a razor-thin lead over Democrat Danny O'Connor in Ohio's 12th District, which has gone for Republicans for decades.

Many say the tight race in a GOP stronghold signals the difficulties faced by the GOP in holding on to the House.

Democrats need to gain 23 seats in win the House. Perez argued that Democrats just have to win a number of seats in districts that are more favorable to their candidates than Ohio's 12th District. 

"There's 60 seats for the House ... that are more competitive than this race yesterday," Perez said. "And so as I look at this race … and I look at the landscape not only in that district but across America, people want candidates who are going to be fighting for health care. People want candidates who are going to protect Social Security and Medicare."

"People want candidates who are trying to bring people together," he added in a veiled shot against President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE.

Perez also predicted the race could indicate resistance to GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine, who is Ohio's attorney general and a former senator.

"We have a dead heat today, a rematch in 90 days, and health care will be squarely on the ballot because the candidate for governor in Ohio [DeWine] wants to undo Medicaid expansion," Perez said. "He wants to take away coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and so does Mr. Balderson." 

"You’re going to have higher turnout there," he said, referring to the governor's race.

DeWine is running against Democrat Richard Corday, another former Ohio attorney general.