WASHINGTON — Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles said Democrats have a chance to seize control of the U.S. House for the first time since 2010 if Democratic candidates "can pull" the independent who dislike President Donald Trump "to our side" in the November elections.
Appearing Sunday on a panel of commentators on CNN’s "State of the Union," Ryan said while Democratic voters "are very energized," the key to a Democratic victory will be to craft a broad appeal to the 57 percent of independent voters who "disapprove of Donald Trump."
"Those independent voters are more motivated today than they would normally be in a mid-term election," said Ryan, who is emerging as one of the more visible House Democrats.
Ryan, who did not rule out a challenge to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after the elections, has urged many House Democratic candidates to adopt more moderate postures, such as Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor did when he nearly won last month’s special congressional election against Republican Troy Balderson.
Balderson, who is serving out the remaining months in the congressional seat vacated last January by the retirement of Rep. Pat Tiberi, Genoa Township, faces O’Connor in November for the full two-year term beginning in January.
Ryan said that even though Trump’s approval ratings among independents has dipped, he can be an effective campaigner in a number of states "because midterm elections are base elections for the most part and he still maintains a good deal of popularity within his base."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has engaged in an increasingly testy feud with Trump, predicted on CBS's "Face The Nation" Balderson will do "fine" in November, saying "he's off to a good start" in a district which is strongly Republican.
"I talked to him the other day," Kasich said of Balderson. "I'm proud of him," adding that Balderson is "saying the tariffs" imposed by Trump on imports from China, Canada and the European Union "are a bad idea."
"But there are Republicans I'm not campaigning for," Kasich said. "I just won't do it because if you're a divider and if you can't see the fact that we need to unify people then I can't be for you. I mean nothing personal. I just can't help you."