Conor Lamb leads in Pennsylvania district

Conor Lamb leads in Pennsylvania district

Most independent analyses rate the race between Democrat Connor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone as a toss-up, with differing polls giving each candidate a three-point lead.

Saccone, an Air Force veteran, has said he was "Trump before Trump was Trump". Democrat Conor Lamb has proven to be a stellar candidate. Although a plurality feel the tariffs will help the area's economy (43% say they'll help while 36% say they'll hurt), nearly all, 96%, say the decision hasn't affected their choice in the upcoming special election. Trump campaigned for Saccone in Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

Murphy, an eight-term congressman who had union support, never had a close election and had no Democratic challenger in his last two elections.

But the dynamics have changed in the district, which runs from wealthy suburbs south of Pittsburgh through hardscrabble steel and coal mining towns to farmlands along the West Virginia border. "And he's got a tough race", Trump said.

Public polls show a statistical tie between Lamb and Saccone, according to RealClearPolitics and Talking Points Memo. "And I'll tell you some more - my wife and I saw it again today - they have a hatred for God".

The White House has arranged a string of visits to energize Saccone's base. Hitting peak campaign mode for himself, he revived many of his favorite 2016 riffs and even touted his planned 2020 slogan, "Keep America Great!"

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania will hold a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned amid a sex scandal last fall. One reporter asked whether Trump had met with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, and whether Stormy Daniels, the porn star who has claimed an extramarital affair with the president, should be allowed to speak out.

While Trump was ostensibly in Pennsylvania for Saccone, the rally was as much about the president as it was an underperforming congressional candidate.

Lamb's best shot at eeking out a victory will be if he increases the turnout in the bluest areas, wins a higher percentage of the bluest areas and also swings folks in the reddest parts of the district. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important.

Fearful of a loss, Republicans are downplaying expectations and trashing Saccone as a candidate. He later added, "Pelosi's party in Congress is full of people who tell their voters one thing during the election and then go to Washington and vote lockstep".

Trump this week signed orders imposing tariffs of 25 percent for steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum imports from other countries, a move that he said would help reduce trade deficits.

His campaign claims to have reached more than 100,000 households with pledges to protect union jobs and pensions along with Medicare and Social Security programs for the elderly that account for almost one out of every five local residents.

He has eschewed the national Democratic brand, saying he would not support House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as speaker. Former Vice President Joe Biden recently campaigned with Lamb.

Lamb says he personally opposes abortion but accepts the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade landmark decision allowing abortion as the law of the land. Lamb's campaign released a television ad March 8 endorsing background checks.

The contest to replace Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned past year, is the fifth competitive special House election since Trump took office.

Democrats need to pick up 24 seats to gain House control in November.

"John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump all won Pennsylvania's 18th district by at least 15 points, so the fact that this race is neck-and-neck clarifies that this tax scam is a political liability".

Tuesday's election has little bearing on the current balance of power in the House.



Other news