Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Pennsylvania special election: Saccone touts economy as Lamb spends millions

Pennsylvania special election: Saccone touts economy as Lamb spends millions

During his last campaign rally before Tuesday's special election, Saccone said Democrats continue to repeat a false narrative of failure against the Trump administration.

The outcome carries major implications for the president and congressional Republicans fighting to hold onto their majority in November's midterm elections. He supports expanding fracking to extract natural gas and has distanced himself from House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Saccone spent the final hours of the campaign with Donald Trump, Jr, the president's oldest son, rallying at a VFW hall in his hometown of Elizabeth and warning Republicans that "the left" was energized for all the wrong reasons. Rick Saccone thanked President Trump as he exited the voting booth. "I'll tell you, many of them have a hatred for our country". A video ad sponsored by the group criticizes Saccone's tenure in the Pennsylvania legislature and supports Lamb, a Marine Corps veteran and former federal prosecutor. It is easy to characterize her as one of those "coastal liberals" that seem to dominate the Democratic Party.

"I don't know anybody who got any bonuses", he said.

Because of a long-running fight over Pennsylvania's congressional boundaries, the victor will have to start campaigning for re-election nearly immediately in a different district.

Even if Saccone, a state legislator, prevails, it would demonstrate that Democrats are competitive in places they hadn't been before and force the GOP to spend time and money defending what had been safe Congressional seats as they try to hold on to their House majority in November. Both men are vying for the seat of former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in a region that went heavily for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Monmouth University released a survey just as the confectionery tour began, showing Lamb ahead in three turnout models, all of which were within the 5.1 percentage point margin of error.

Trump was the third member of his family to visit the district in the past few weeks in an all-out effort to help bring Saccone over a finish line that he has been lagging behind in the past 10 days.

"This guy should win easily", Trump said. "Get out there and vote".

More news: Bengals swap first-round picks with Bills for LT Cordy Glenn

It's not hard to imagine that Saccone heard a lot of Democrats saying they "hate" the president.

Both Donald Trump And Donald Trump Jr. "It's going to be a tight, tight race when you have two people running basically for the same party". And he embraces unions, highlighting Saccone's anti-labor record at the statehouse - a noticeable deviation from Murphy's status as a union-friendly Republican.

But the area covered by the 18th district had been trending Republican for decades. Conor Lamb is the Democrat challenging Republican Rick Saccone for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"The observation there that's been interesting especially when it comes to the tax debate in the country is Republicans were sending millions of dollars attacking Conor Lamb on this tax package and his tax message", Democratic Rep. "I don't think it has anything to do with the president".

And there are union members who want to save their jobs and know that Saccone will back Trump's tariffs (although Lamb supports them too) and the "America first" agenda to do it.

Saccone, meanwhile, portrayed himself as an underdog, as national Republicans quietly blamed him for the closeness of the race.

Republicans in the Trump era had found similar fault with other struggling candidates. "I'm really proud of all the people who have worked with me, and I think it's going to pay off", Lamb said. Lamb, he said, "can talk to all of them, and that's why he can win".

Trump delivered "about five minutes" of what had been scripted for Saturday night's rally, a White House official familiar with the speech said. Lamb told union workers Sunday they'd "been the heart and soul of this campaign". While the old adage - all politics is local - is generally true, in my view, President Trump has nationalized the 2018 midterms.

"Saccone, unfortunately just has never been able to excite people in the district", this strategist said. "He's such a powerful person that commands the audience".

Like this: