Midterms 2018

‘Trump Is the Antidote to Republican Complacency,’ RNC Chief Says

Ronna McDaniel credited POTUS for Troy Balderson's apparent victory in Tuesday's Ohio special election

President Donald Trump “is the antidote to Republican complacency” following Ohio’s special election Tuesday and heading into the November 2018 midterm elections, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel said Wednesday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

“But absolutely President Trump is the antidote to Republican complacency,” McDaniel said. “Because … he comes and says, ‘Let’s look at the results of my presidency: The economy is doing well, unemployment is down, people are doing better, they have more money. We have to fight for that, and I need more Republicans in Washington so we can do that.'”

McDaniel added that “the Democrats are doubling down on obstruct and resist, and that is not a winning message.”

Trump tweeted his endorsement of and stumped for Ohio state Sen. Troy Balderson (R) Saturday in Ohio’s crucial Delaware County. Although Tuesday’s race remains too close to call officially, Balderson appears to have eked out a victory over Democrat Danny O’Connor in Ohio’s 12th district, which Trump won by 11 percent in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Republicans view the Ohio special election as significant following Rep. Conor Lamb’s (D-Pa.) narrow upset victory against Republican Rick Saccone on March 13 in the special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District — a district Trump carried by nearly 20 percent in 2016.

McDaniel maintains that Trump’s energetic rally in Delaware County pushed Balderson over the top after multiple polls showed Balderson and O’Connor in a dead heat prior to the election.

“The visit on Saturday is why we won,” McDaniel insisted. “We knew through our data that we needed to get our electorate engaged and energized. That’s why President Trump went in on Saturday before Election Day into Delaware County, where we won, which was the key county.”

“So we feel very good about this victory,” McDaniel added.

Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to declare Ohio’s special election as a GOP victory, to tout the effect he believed his rally had on the results, and to paint the November midterm elections positively.

“The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered,” Trump tweeted. “Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!”

Related: Trump’s Last-Minute Rally Pushes Republican Balderson to Apparent Ohio Win

“As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win!” Trump added. “I LOVE the people, & they certainly seem to like the job I’m doing. If I find the time, in between China, Iran, the Economy and much more, which I must, we will have a giant Red Wave!”

Balderson thanked Trump Tuesday for giving his campaign a boost during its final days and promised to “do everything I can in the next three months to make America great again” before vying against O’Connor once again for the same seat in November’s general election.

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].