Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pence says everything at stake in Pa. election

Pence says everything at stake in Pa. election

The outcome Tuesday of 2018's first congressional election is being closely watched as a key test of support for Republicans ahead of November's midterms.

A new Monmouth University poll out Monday afternoon shows Democrat Conor Lamb leading GOP candidate Rick "I was Trump before Trump was Trump" Saccone, but the margin is slight - meaning political operatives and pundits are preparing for all eventualities.

As a former Marine and federal prosecutor, he carries military and law-and-order bona fides. "Lamb seems to have connected with them". They'll note that Pennsylvania's congressional map is about to change, and in a way that favors Democrats. But it might be a blueprint for other Democrats running in House districts that Trump carried easily in 2016. "It makes him look as if he's on the cutting edge of a new generations of politicians".

Trump said Saccone would be a "fighter" like the president, and that Lamb's party is one of obstruction. "He has helped me in this campaign from the very beginning".

MOUNT LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA In a district US President Donald Trump swept in 2016, the unfathomable has become the possible: a Democrat could win today's special election.

The new face of a blue-collar family with political roots, Mr Lamb is socially conservative and economically moderate, and backs Mr Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

That is when Republican nominee Rick Saccone and Donald Trump Jr. arrived at Sarris Candies.

Still, political observers say Trump's backing may not be enough.

Polls show the race between candidates Rick Saccone (R) and Conor Lamb (D) is exceedingly close, with election analysts rating the race a toss-up.

It is unclear whether the 18th district will exist in its current form by the time November's election rolls around. "The people who hate Trump will come out, but what about the people who like him?"

The election will be held on Tuesday.

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The crowd, it was clear, was Trump supporters.

Manley pointed to the string of special elections and governor's races that have gone the way of Democrats in recent months. The district, home to parts of Allegheny, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties in southwestern part of the state, is Trump country. Meanwhile, Democrats are champing at the bit, prepared to declare Lamb's victory (or narrow defeat) - in a district Trump won by almost 20 points in 2016 - a canary in the GOP's congressional coal mines.

Republicans have tried to paint Lamb as a lackey for national Democrats who are unpopular in the district.

Representative Joe Kennedy III, the Democrat from Brookline, also endorsed Lamb and traveled to his field office last month (although local media chided Lamb for keeping the event quiet and telling reporters he had no public events that day, only to discover Lamb had tweeted a photo of them together).

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said on Monday evening that they have found no evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and President Trump's campaign during the 2016 election and are ending their investigation.

Saccone, 60, of Elizabeth, is a member of the state House of Representatives. He also has a military background, having served in the Air Force.

Thompson represents Pennsylvania's 5th Congressional District and on Saturday, he joined President Trump at a rally in Moon Township near Pittsburgh.

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".

The poll found Lamb winning based on all three of the turnout models it projected.

In an effort to downplay expectations, GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has said she expects it to be a "tight, tight race".

But there's no sign the Republican president's move has reversed Lamb's momentum. "He's progun, he's protariff, he's pro-Trump essentially, " she said. Democratic groups spent only $855,591.

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