Ohio is holding a special congressional election Tuesday, and Republicans are sparing no expense

Congressional candidate Troy Balderson rallies with Trump
(Image credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Voters in Ohio's 12th congressional district are electing a replacement for former Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) on Tuesday. President Trump won the district by 11 points and Republicans have held the seat almost uninterrupted since 1920 — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) unseated the rare one-term Democrat in 1982 and easily kept the seat until 2000, when Tiberi took over — but polls show an unexpectedly tight race between Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson, 56, and Democrat Danny O'Connor, 31.

Republicans are pulling out all the stops. Trump held a rally for Balderson in Ohio on Saturday and tweeted his endorsement Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence has campaigned for him twice, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) made a campaign stop for Balderson, and Kasich endorsed him. If O'Connor wins in the northern Columbus suburbs, Democrats will plausibly claim momentum going into the midterms. National Republicans, who've spent $3.5 million on TV ads attacking O'Connor and another half-million on get-out-the-vote efforts, are working to keep the seat and deprive Democrats of a talking point. This is the last competitive election before the November midterms.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.