Republican Troy Balderson led Democrat Danny O'Connor by about 1,700 votes with all precincts reporting, although the OH secretary of state's office said a final result would be delayed until more than 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots were counted.
The day's races, like dozens before them, pitted Trump's fiery supporters against the Democratic Party's anti-Trump resistance.
Republicans' narrow lead didn't come cheap.
The five-way Democratic primary featured labor lawyer Brent Welder, who campaigned recently with self-described democratic socialists Vermont Sen.
Image Troy Balderson held a slight lead but the election was ruled too close to call
There are 79 House races this fall considered more competitive than the OH district - at least looking at Trump's 2016 performance - according to data compiled by the Democrats' national campaign committee.
"It's Ohio's 12th district, and he's going to hopefully be here a long time". Trump claimed victory nevertheless. "The Republicans are embarrassed by their president, and because of that I think they want to put a brake on him, to send a message to him that his filthy talk, his boorish behavior, the way they've treated those little children down there on the border, his racism, is against OH values".
Democrats could also celebrate their showing in a district that has gone Republican for decades.
A special congressional election that tested US President Donald Trump's clout and cost both parties millions of dollars in battleground OH was too close to call early Wednesday (Weds afternoon NZT).
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Polls closed at 7:30 p.m., leaving Democrat Danny O'Connor and Republican Troy Balderson to await their fates in the tight race. It is the last congressional special election scheduled before the November midterms.
The special election only fills the seat for the balance of the current Congress, which means Balderson and O'Connor nearly certainly will have a rematch in November for a full term beginning in January 2019. Mr. Husted added there are 3,435 provisional ballots and 5,048 absentee ballots outstanding. Once they are tallied, an automatic recount would be triggered if the margin of results is within 0.5 percent. That's enough for O'Connor to potentially pick up enough to force a recount. "In a race the pundits say we had no business being in, you proved them wrong". Democrat Danny O'Connor, trailing in the latest count, vowed: "We're not stopping now".
The Ohio district includes numerous suburban women and college-educated, affluent residents that polls show have been the sort of voters turned off by Trump's chaotic first 19 months in office. All 435 House seats, 35 of 100 Senate seats and 36 of 50 governors' offices are up for grabs in November.
"Ohio, vote today for Troy Balderson for Congress", Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday.
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But the Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders-backed Abdul El-Sayed's bid for MI governor fell short, CNN projects, as the establishment favorite, former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, nabbed the Democratic nomination and a November date with Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette. However, former Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed lost his bid to become the country's first Muslim governor to a more moderate Democrat, former state Senate leader Gretchen Whitmer.
And one interesting sidebar: Ron Estes has beaten Ron Estes in a Kansas Republican primary. Former Kansas Senator Bob Dole has endorsed Colyer, while President Donald Trump has endorsed Kobach. Kobach was an immigration adviser to Trump's campaign in 2016 and vice chairman of Trump's commission to investigate voting fraud before the panel collapsed.
The bigger story, though, was voters' overwhelming rejection of Missouri's right-to-work law.
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