Ohio Special Election: Trump Declares 'great Victory' for Balderson in Race Still Too Close to Call

President Donald Trump on Tuesday night declared "great victory" in the Ohio special election, in a race that remained too close to call—with an official victor potentially taking up to several days to be announced.

As the president announced a GOP win after a hotly contested race in the state's 12th District, republican candidate Troy Balderson led the race with 0.9 percentage points (the equivalent of 1,754 votes) over Democrat Danny O'Connor, The New York Times reported.

But with 3,367 provisional ballots yet to be counted, according to The Hill, the result is not yet certain—and a slim margin could trigger a recount, with Ohio rules stating that a margin of 0.25% or less for statewide office or 0.5% for other offices results in an automatic recount, Vox reported. Ohio's rules also permit a recount at the request of one of the candidates.

But despite the final result balancing on a knife edge, the president declared victory for the candidate he had backed, sweeping into the state at the last minute in order to drum up support in what had previously been a Republican stronghold.

"When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good," Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday.

"After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov," he added.

But while the president was quick to declare victory—thanking himself for swinging the vote in Balderson's favour—others appeared wary about what the close count means for the November midterm elections.

"This is the same story we've seen in every special election and last year's gubernatorial races: The Democratic base is fired up, we're on defense in suburban seats, and it's going to be a challenging fall," Republican pollster Robert Blizzard, who advised Balderson, told Politico.

"We've known this for a year-and-a-half," he added.

Indeed, while the president has touted his support as essential for victory—with candidates such as Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp benefiting from Trump's backing—the reality is less clear cut.

In fact, several special elections held in districts that previously came out for Trump have gone to Democrats prompting not unfounded concern from Republicans going into the midterms.

"Most special elections have seen a shift in favor of Democrats," said Geoffrey Skelley, a political analyst with the University of Virginia Center for Politics, ahead of the count.

"Even if a Democrat loses by 2 points in a district that Trump won by 11, you have to take that as a sign of a shift. This is historically one of the most Republican parts of the state," he added.

Ohio Special Election: Trump Declares 'great Victory' for Balderson in Race Still Too Close to Call | U.S.