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Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Pennsylvania Dem shows party should challenge every election

Pennsylvania Dem shows party should challenge every election

Polls have opened in Tuesday's special election in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, where Republican Rick Saccone faces a stronger-than-expected challenge from Democrat Conor Lamb and keep a U.S. House seat in GOP hands.

ABC noted that the influential lobbying group did formally endorse Saccone back in January, donating $2,450 to his campaign.

"Do me a favor, get out on Tuesday. Oh, we're losing. Oh, a 20-point gap?'"

A Lamb victory could accelerate his arguments in other districts and further worry Republicans about their plans to run unapologetically on the tax law.

Republicans have spent more than $10 million to prevent a defeat in the district, which Trump won in 2016 by 20 percentage points. Voters head to the polls today as Lamb is running in a tight race for the vacated seat of Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) against Republican candidate Rick Saccone.

"Everyone's shit-talking this candidate, because he's a shit candidate."

However, the Republican congressional candidate said "Conor Lamb would vote with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat party", adding that not one Democrat voted for the nation's tax reform bill, which was signed into law previous year.

"I've talked to so many of these on the left", Saccone said.

"The Democrats. they're throwing everything they can at this race", he said.

It's Election Day in Pennsylvania in the first congressional special election of the year. "I've already said ... that I don't support Nancy Pelosi". "There hasn't been an open seat for a long time and, you know, they see they might have an opportunity, so they're going to do everything they can to get there", Saccone said. Internal Republican polling also found Saccone trailing narrowly, though picking up a little ground since the president's Saturday visit to the district.

Four miles away from the Allegheny County GOP headquarters where Saccone was speaking, Democrat Conor Lamb had just finished a rally with more than 100 supporters and members of the steelworkers union.

Saccone addressed the race before a swarm of reporters when he voted at a precinct in Elizabeth Township. "They posted some pictures this morning from his [social-media] account, of him touring coffee shops, and people are just so uninterested in him".

"This guy should win easily", Trump told the crowd at the rally. You need to take off your jacket, roll up your sleeves.

"I hate to put this pressure on you, Rick, but the world is watching, because I won this district", Trump said. "They never even cared about politics a lick before then". Lamb echoes national Democrats who have labeled it a giveaway to large corporations and the wealthy.

Democratic voter Brian Konick supported Trump in 2016. Lamb has wooed conservative voters at the same time national Democratic money has poured in to bankroll a win. If the Republican candidate in the Pennsylvania race reflected moderate views relative to the traditional rhetoric of the right - that candidate would be a threat. But his momentum goes beyond that, according to Trump supporters, who are coming around to the sobering reality of a Democratic wave. "We had it in the last couple of elections". They've conveniently, by one mile, excommunicated me from the 18th ... For the week of February 18, that dropped to 36 percent, and to 14 percent the week after. A loss by Saccone to Democratic Marine veteran and former prosecutor Conor Lamb would be seen as a major warning sign for the GOP ahead of November's midterm elections. On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. told me that this election was NOT a referendum on his father's performance in the White House. Instead, the race has been widely interpreted as a bellwether for midterm elections.

At one point, he mocked the idea of being "presidential". The MAGA disciples I spoke to pushed back on this narrative, however. This gives the district a diverse mix of political ideologies, from rural conservatives to Pittsburgh-area liberals.

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