Democrat Takes Lead Over Trump-Backed Candidate in PA Special Election

  • Democrat Takes Lead Over Trump-Backed Candidate in PA Special Election

Democrat Takes Lead Over Trump-Backed Candidate in PA Special Election

THE DISTRICT WILL LIKELY DISAPPEAR: If you thought $12 million being spent by outside groups on one special election race that won't immediately change the power dynamics on Capitol Hill was insane, consider this: The district will likely disappear in November. The polls close at 8 p.m. Results will begin to be reported after that.

The move is surprising after President Donald Trump signed new tariffs earlier this month, surrounded by American steel and aluminum workers, in hopes of protecting their industries from foreign competition. It would follow Democratic victories a year ago in a special Senate election in solidly Republican Alabama, as well as wins in Virginia, New Jersey and a handful of state races in other parts of the country.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that Saccone-a veteran of Pennsylvania's legislature-"will be much better for steel and business".

"Saccone also told Bartiromo that, "[Trump] needs some help down there, he is getting beat up in Washington from the media, from the bureaucracy and from Hollywood".

"Saccone backs a lot of President Trump's plans for the country", said Gelb, a 48-year-old fire technician who lives in Mt. Lebanon.

The special election was made necessary to fill the House seat vacated after Tim Murphy resigned in October amid a marital scandal, according to TribLive.

But it's hard for the GOP to cast Lamb as a liberal who's out of step with voters in the district.

Tuesday's special election for Pennsylvania's 18th District ought to be a slam dunk for Republicans.

Democratic candidate Conor Lamb, 33, is a socially conservative Democrat who is a former federal prosecutor and Marine captain and he opposes abortion and new gun control laws. Trump did not campaign in Alabama for Moore, appearing at a rally just outside the state and urging voters across the border to support him. In the 18th congressional district, he was 20 points ahead of Clinton.

But unions have lined up behind Lamb and hammered Saccone as a union foe during his tenure as a state lawmaker.

"Sarris Candies has over 400 employees, they told me they added 80 more after the tax reform bill passed", he said, "That's not counting the ripple effect it has in the surrounding community".

Saccone spoke to reporters shortly before casting his ballot Tuesday near his home in rural Allegheny County south of Pittsburgh.

Saccone has tried to excite voters by embracing Trump. Additionally, neither candidate will live in the 18th district after the state Supreme Court redrew Pennsylvania's congressional maps.

When his attention was on the race here, he seemed keenly aware of the size of his own victory in the district in 2016. Jobs and wages up.

"This is a big time blue collar area and Rick Saccone relates to blue collar people", Valente said. "They're now saying that the Trump rally may have given him enough of a shot in the arm to make it competitive".

Polls are open in western Pennsylvania as voters settle a high profile special congressional race being watched for clues to the upcoming midterm elections. They are Republican state Representative Richard Saccone, Democratic former assistant USA attorney and Marine Corps veteran Conor Lamb, and Libertarian Drew Miller. Saccone is a former counter-intelligence officer in the Air Force, has a doctorate and was a professor at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, teaching political science and other courses, and still teaches there part-time. In that part of the country, Democrats pretending to be moderate win elections. That's a key group in this industrial region.

The vice president argues that Trump's entire agenda is on the line in a race that is being viewed as a bellwether of a challenging midterm election cycle for Republicans.

While Saccone has led most polls leading up to Tuesday, recent numbers suggest a blue surge could continue the small pattern of Democratic upsets in red strongholds.