What's at stake in the Pennsylvania special election

Leslie Hanson
March 12, 2018

While the telegenic young Lamb has impressed even Republicans with his disciplined campaign, and calculated splits with the national Democratic Party, Republicans have blasted Saccone for weak fundraising, an inability to tell his own story as a veteran, his deep hostility to unions in a union-heavy district, and past mistakes like telling a mother whose kid had died of opioid abuse that addiction was a "family responsibility" and it's not taxpayers' responsibility to help, a brutal remark in a district where opioids are a serious problem. In the 2016 USA presidential election, Trump won the district by about 20 percentage points over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"I've said from the beginning of this campaign that I didn't support Nancy Pelosi for any leadership position", Lamb said at a March 3 debate with Saccone.

One hypothetical model that puts Lamb just over 50 percent, includes, for example, him increasing the percentage of the vote that comes from the bluest areas by nine points, winning four percent more of the vote than Clinton did in those bluest areas, breaking even with Saccone in areas in the district Trump won by 21 points and, in the reddest areas were Trump won by 46 percent, only losing to Saccone by about 15. Get out on Tuesday and vote for Rick Saccone. Very strong on experience and what our Country needs.

"The people of Pittsburgh can not be conned by this guy Lamb", Trump said, dismissing Lamb's efforts to run as a moderate Democrat.

Trump, at his rally in Moon, PA., Saturday night, did something different. Trump's surprise move has scrambled party loyalties, upsetting Republican leaders fearing a trade war and attracting the support of Democrats determined to win back working-class voters in the midterm elections. In every case, the party that had held the seat kept it. "He's a Marine", Kortz said. The township is about 17 miles west and north of Pittsburgh. "I don't know much about Rick Saccone", he acknowledged, adding that he remains skeptical about Trump. "I do not believe, as (Republican House Speaker) Paul Ryan does, that these are entitlements or another form of welfare". "He's good with the Second Amendment".

At the Lamb rally, Cecil Roberts, the president of the United Mineworkers of America, delivered a rousing endorsement of Lamb, a noteworthy endorsement since the union sat out the 2016 election rather than back Clinton in 2016. State Democrats chose him as the party's nominee in the special election in November, weeks after Murphy's resignation. "The scary thing for vulnerable House Republicans this year is that neither the National Republican Congressional Committee nor [aligned super PAC] seem to have any clue what to do about it", Tyler Law, spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee told ABC News in an email. Murphy resigned in October amid a sex scandal.

"And Conor Lamb - Lamb the Sham - he's trying to act like a Republican", Trump said. The district's voters are far more likely to see television ads from Washington-based Republican groups than from Saccone. "I'm a supporter of the death penalty, but only when in those type of instance where we absolutely are 100 percent certain that the person is 100 percent guilty".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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