March 22, 2018

Democrat Leads in Pennsylvania House Race

13 March 2018, 10:56 | Christie Tate

Will lack of Democratic outside spending cost Lamb an upset?

Moon Township Pa. Saccone is running against Democrat Conor Lamb in a special election being held on March 13 for the

On the last day before voting, Trump weighed in again as Saccone tried to fend off an unexpectedly strong challenge by Democrat Conor Lamb in a district Trump won easily in 2016.

Mr. Saccone also gained a boost from the Post-Gazette's editorial page, which endorsed him Sunday citing his experience as a state legislator - and warning that a win by Conor Lamb would set the stage for possible impeachment if Democrats gained the House majority in regular elections later this year. And echoing claims his father made during a rally for Mr. Saccone over the weekend, Mr. Trump said the Democrat would staunchly oppose the White House agenda. Back then, it was unrealistic to expect Trump voters to break away from a party headed by someone they'd elected less than a year earlier, Rothenberg said.

The United Mine Workers of America have given Lamb their full-throated endorsement, with the union's president Cecil Roberts proclaiming, "You can't let out-of-state millionaires outwork coal miners, outwork steelworkers and outwork schoolteachers". His staff said the candidate himself held no public events Monday and scheduled no media availability. The 18th district won't exist next year due to a Supreme Court decision ordering the map to be redrawn. The seat opened last October when Republican Tim Murphy resigned amid a sex scandal.

Tuesday's special election was triggered by Murphy resigning from the seat he held for almost 15 years, following a sex scandal.

A Monmouth University poll released Monday shows the Democrat leading by between 2 and 6 percentage points, depending on whether it's a low turnout or a "surge" situation.

Already those around Trump are distancing the president from Saccone.

"Our guys just can't take winning for granted", Trump Jr. said. "Get out there and vote". Pat Toomey, a Republican who also carried the district in his 2016 re-election bid.

Lamb supports gun rights and tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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Bancroft, who recently retired as a nurse practitioner, is a registered Democrat in Washington County, but Lamb managed to attract her Republican husband, as well.

But the area covered by the 18th district had been trending Republican for decades. Supporting Mr. Saccone has nearly become a family business in its own right.

Republican congressional leadership has chided Saccone for his poor fundraising efforts, and dumped millions of dollars into the race that many thought was safe going into 2018. The bulk of Republican Party-backed TV ads linked Lamb to Pelosi, notwithstanding his criticism of her; other ads warned that he would have opposed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

"I've talked to so many of these on the left, and they have a hatred for our president". Trump's 2016 Electoral College victory was predicated in part on winning the support of many unionized workers in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and MI. "I do not believe, as (Republican House Speaker) Paul Ryan does, that these are entitlements or another form of welfare".

Saccone on Tuesday downplayed Lamb's late numbers.

"He's the first candidate I've ever put a sign in my yard for and volunteered for", said Bancroft, adding that she's worked two shifts a week for Lamb since meeting him in January. But enough time has passed between the presidential election that if there is any kind of weakening in Trump's coalition, Rothenberg said, "now is when you might see it". If Democrats lose, they'll point to the district's history and call a close race a win for them anyway (though Democrats have flipped 39 state legislative seats since Trump took office, they haven't been able to do it for a congressional seat). "All these things ought to be working in Saccone's favor".

"Wake up and get out and vote, people", he said on Fox News' "Fox & Friends". "Everybody that's in there is just in awe". "He's such a powerful person that commands the audience".

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