President Donald Trump “obviously” makes a difference in Tuesday’s races, with the candidates he supported pulling out wins, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Wednesday, calling Tuesday a “great night for Republicans.”
“In Michigan, where I am, John James catapulted to victory because of President Trump’s support,” McDaniel told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “Bill Schuette, Josh Hawley, the close race in Kansas, and Ohio 12.”
The race in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District has been deemed too close to call, with just 1,754 votes separating the leader, Republican Troy Balderson, and Democrat Danny O’Connor, but Trump already has congratulated Balderson on the the win.
“President Trump came in, did a rally in Delaware County, the key county,” said McDaniel. “It put Troy Balderson over the edge and we won last night in that district.”
The vote was close, considering Trump carried the same district himself by 12 points in 2016, but McDaniel said it’s not a fair comparison between the two races.
“When President Trump won, 377,000 voters turned out,” she said. “It was a presidential year. Compare that to a special election in August a week before school starts. Only 200,000 voters turned out last night.”
Republicans did turn out to vote, she noted, but “complacency is the thing we’re most concerned about” as the party controls the White House, the Senate, and the House and the economy is doing well.
“We have to wake up our voters to know they have to fight for the comeback,” she added.
Democrats also came out to vote in the Ohio special election race, but McDaniel said Trump’s rally on Saturday is “why we won.”
“We saw what was happening in the early vote and through the data we needed to get our electorate engaged and energized,” she said. “When President Trump went in on Saturday to Delaware County where we won, the key county, our data and targeting RNC on the ground made 1 million voter contacts.”
Most of the absentee ballots are Republican, she added, so the party feels “very good about this victory.”
Trump, though, is the “antidote to Republican complacency,” McDaniel said. “When he comes and says let’s look at the results of my presidency. The economy is doing. Unemployment is down. We have more money .I need more Republicans in Washington so we can do that. The Democrats are doubling down in obstruct and resist.”
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