(CNN)Politics is about wins and losses. By that measure, Republicans appear to have had a good night on Tuesday, with state Sen. Troy Balderson (R) leading Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor (D) by just under 2,000 votes with 99% of precincts reporting in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District.
But keeping score in politics — especially in special elections by simply tallying up wins and losses — can miss the point. And this is one of those moments.

Yes, Balderson appears to have won. Which means he will likely hold the seat for the handful of months that remain in this Congress. But the underlying dynamics of the district and the race should concern every smart Republican looking at the November playing field and assessing the GOP’s chances of holding onto its 23-seat House majority.

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