Well. A Democrat made a heckuva charge in a special election for an Ohio U.S. House district, but finished less than a point behind.  Danny O’Connor, the Democrat, will be back to challenge Republican Troy Balderson in November. But a loss is a loss and the radical gerrymander of this district to dilute an urban vote continues to work against the Democrat. Perhaps it’s a signal for Republican weakness nationwide, but it’s still a loss where it counts, in seats in Congress. Missouri on the other hand ….

Missouri voters, in a state where Republicans are strong, gave labor unions a huge victory in a voter referendum that overwhelmingly rejected the state’s “right to work” law. This is the same as the Arkansas law, in place for more than 70 years, that prevents making union membership a condition of employment. It weakens the ability to form and maintain unions and is sold as a business encouragement tool, though the results after seven decades in Arkansas speak for themselves.


The Ohio race will be compared to the race for 2nd District in Arkansas, where an incumbent Repblican, French Hill, will be clobbered in his home county of Pulaski, but look to overcome that by heavy margins in suburban areas, just as Balderson did in Ohio. He’s already running against Nancy Pelosi, as Balderson did, and he’ll enjoy a similar huge influx of Republican attack money against Democratic state Rep. Clarke Tucker, who’s adopted a somewhat moderate posture similar to that used by Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania and further used by O’Connor in Ohio.

One big question: Does Donald Trump see his charm as useful in Arkansas’s Second? Does French Hill? Perhaps given French Hill’s direct connection to the subject of the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians dealing dirt on Hillary Clinton, it wouldn’t do well to reinforce that shared interest. On the other hand, dealing dirt on Hillary probably doesn’t hurt you much in Saline, White and parts of Faulkner County.


PS: No, I doubt the  right to work repeal wave will reach Arkansas. The Hutchinson administration is touting it as a job lure in hopes of hanging on to a Kimberly Clark plant. Message: “We work for less and we’re proud of it.”