GOP Chair Claims Long Red Pa.-18 a 'Democrat District'

Highly contested race for Pennsylvania House seat too close to call

The special election contest in southwest Pennsylvania will come to an end on Tuesday night and, though the victor remains in doubt, the post-election spin pretty much writes itself.

Monmouth's findings in Lamb's favor are based in a voter turnout model that mimics the Democratic surge seen in other special elections over the past year.

Donald Trump won the 18th Congressional District by 20 points against Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election.

Trump accused Lamb of trying to "act like a Republican".

Lamb's campaign has inspired Democrats' core supporters.

He is among a chorus of conservatives casting Saccone's candidacy as underwhelming.

That brought this retort from Republican Rick Saccone.

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Saccone is struggling in a district he should win easily. The best they have done is shave the Republican victory margins. A narrow win would still be alarming. "The incredible Republican spending is going to have an effect, even though Lamb has been smart in not letting the race get nationalised like we saw in the special congressional election in Atlanta past year".

"This district has voted overwhelmingly Republican in recent elections, but a large number of these voters have blue-collar Democratic roots".

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Recent polls have shown either candidate in the lead.

On the stump he sounds more like a Republican than a Democrat, and he vows to be an independent willing to make life miserable for Nancy Pelosi and the dominant Democratic left in the House.

Democrats must flip 24 GOP-held seats to claim a House majority. Instead, the former prosecutor supports a vague "pathway to citizenship" while calling for increasing Ice's budget to patrol the border.

"In other words, districts that Trump won convincingly", he said.

"The Democrats have nominated the ideal candidate, because he fits the profile of the electorate".

Lamb's last public event was Sunday in Waynesburg with members of the United Mineworkers Union.

That apparently includes Scott von Wertmann's neighbour in the township of Upper St. Clair, an affluent suburb south of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County.

TRUMP: That's much easier than doing what I have to do because - but this is much more effective.

But there's no sign the Republican president's move has reversed Lamb's momentum.

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Lamb is taking a centrist position that straddles both major political parties.

"It really is a test that sets things in motion", former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said.

Trump Jr. said the administration needs support from Republicans like Saccone to keep at bay the Democrats, whom he called obstructionists and the "party of dependence". He also appreciates that Lamb has run a campaign that has largely avoided anti-Trump messaging, refraining from flaming a president many in the district still support. Trump campaigned for Saccone in Pennsylvania on Saturday night. All said this race is about as close as they've seen. "He's such a solid candidate, so why take away from that?"

Trump, who went to prep school and college in southeastern Pennsylvania, posed with the store's manager in front of a towering chocolate castle.

It is coal country, and steel country too.

But for now, in a deeply gerrymandered district whose far-flung constituents have little in common ideologically, educationally, economically or culturally, the election will be decided not by any policy nuance or local infrastructure plan but by a brutal calculus: Which 18th District will turn out the most voters on March 13?

The victor will serve out the remainder of Murphy's term, but the district will cease to exist in its current form in November, due to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrawing the state's congressional map. That's my point. Our guys have to realize that this stuff is going on.

"Is there going to be a blue wave of discontent?" He credited Trump for his paycheque going up about US$100 a month since Republicans passed their tax law - and said that's enough for him.

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