Pennsylvania special election tonight

14 March, 2018, 05:50 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Saccone is running in a tight race for the vacated seat of Congressman Tim Murphy against Conor Lamb

U.S. congressional candidate and State Rep. Rick Saccone navigates through the media to cast his vote in Pennsylvania's 18th U.S. Congressional district special election at a polling place in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, March 13, 2018.

Rick Saccone, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, stands in front of a campaign sign during an event with volunteers and service members at the Blaine Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, on Monday. As with several other recent special elections, the contest has taken on national significance as Democrats see it as a possible harbinger of their ability to flip control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections in November. Polling conducted in the final days of the race suggest Lamb is the slight favorite to pull off an upset that would carry with it massive national implications. It reflects the heightened enthusiasm of the party's liberal base ahead of the 2018 congressional midterms, and it also signals dissatisfaction of many voters with President Donald Trump. Our conversation, conducted via email and lightly edited for flow, is below.

President Donald Trump dominated the district in 2016 and has offered his backing to Saccone. Saccone has raised a far more modest $917,892 and spent just $614,858 on his campaign.

Saccone has been a state lawmaker since 2010, while Lamb hasn't run for office before.

But, fundamentally, as the President's visit to Pittsburgh on Saturday reinforced, if you like Trump, you vote Saccone, and if you don't, you back Lamb. But his momentum goes beyond that, according to Trump supporters, who are coming around to the sobering reality of a Democratic wave. Conor's uncle was elected twice as city controller in Pittsburgh.

Republicans in Pennsylvania have run with a slightly different spin, emphasizing that registered Democrats slightly outnumber registered Republicans in the rural areas south and west of Pittsburgh.

In short, Lamb has politics in his blood.

The southwest Pennsylvania district will disappear this year, thanks to a court decision that struck down a Republican-drawn map.

We learned in 2016 that done-deal elections aren't actually done until they're done.

But the region has doesn't have as many steelworkers as it did in the industry's heydays, even if there's still a cultural association. Kim Ward. On the second ballot, Ward threw her support to Saccone, and he won handily.

One only needs to look to Lamb's campaign website to see that's all too likely.

Saccone, a four-term state legislator and military veteran, on Tuesday sounded singularly focused on winning Tuesday's race. His loss to Saccone has created some bitterness in the GOP. "All of a sudden you'll have this big balloon payment because they're taking less out of your taxes now and if they don't increase it, I'm anxious".

Lamb embraced Democratic orthodoxy on the new GOP tax law, hammering it as a giveaway to corporations at the future expense of Social Security, Medicare and the nation's fiscal security. "I've already said ... that I don't support Nancy Pelosi".

Conor Lamb took his grandmother to the polls to vote this morning in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. Of course, if he loses, the Pelosi connection will be validated in the eyes of some. The math would have to include dramatically boosting Democrat turnout over what it normally would be in a midterm or special election, convincing moderate or swing voters to go blue and hoping for depressed Republican turnout. The White House has blamed the potential loss on Saccone. The Rick Saccone campaign was a joke.

That is close to Clinton's description during the campaign of Trump voters as "a basket of deplorables", a remark she later regretted as a political strategy error, not as a statement offensive to people who voted for Trump. We will know shortly if that is enough to win.



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