Lamb's Lead in PA-18 Likely To Hold

Douglas Heye

Lamb's Lead in PA-18 Likely To Hold

The GOP found that its big corporate tax cut had scant appeal in a district that had voted for Trump by almost 20 points. Saccone could request a recount. But for all the self-absorption from the candidate who spent much of the campaign petitioning CNN to include his picture in its coverage of the race, he does have a point - Democrats and Republicans shouldn't take their monopoly on political power for granted.

Republican officials are alleging voting irregularities in the congressional race, which was too close to call Wednesday with absentee ballots waiting to be counted to determine the victor.

Pennsylvania Republicans, including eight U.S. congressmen, have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the new map.

"I have a strong following in the country and I don't think the Koch brothers should decide who the leader of the Democratic Party is in the House", Pelosi said.

With all precincts reporting, and more than 240,000 ballots cast Tuesday, Democratic candidate Conor Lamb was leading Republican Rick Saccone by 579 votes, or 49.8 per cent to 49.6 per cent.

"Some people have credited me with recruiting some of these veterans to run, and there's a few I did encourage", Moulton said. Because of redistricting, the 18th District will exist in its current form only until the end of the year.

Trump campaigned for Saccone last weekend, urging voters not to "be conned by this guy Lamb".

Saccone, 60, a former Air Force counter-intelligence officer, has described himself as "Trump before Trump was Trump", and in January he led the race by more than 10 percentage points.

Mr Trump himself held a campaign rally for Mr Saccone last weekend.

Rep. Tim Murphy vacated the seat in October after a scandal involving a staffer.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the fundraising arm for House Republicans, is reaching out to Republicans in the district to see if they experienced any problems at their polling locations.

It's too early to make "sweeping predictions" about the 2018 midterm election, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), who chairs the House Republican conference warned reporters at the start of her weekly press conference Wednesday morning.

So frustrating as it may be for Republicans to lose by so narrow a margin, that's where it's headed unless they choose to muddy the waters by claiming some sort of "voter fraud" (the "every legal vote" terminology deployed by the NRCC might hint at that disreputable but hardy option).

The good news for Democrats from both Texas and Pennsylvania is that President Trump has energized the opposition. This left non-college-educated, blue-collar workers asking, "What about us?"

"We believe that life begins at conception, but as a matter of separation of church and state, I think a woman has the right to choose under the law, so I would vote against" a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, Lamb told the Weekly Standard in February.

Republicans, he says, should actually pick up some seats in the Senate, arguing that Democrats running for reelection in states like Wisconsin, West Virginia, Montana, and Missouri "have an uphill climb".

A Lamb win could vindicate a strategy Democrats are using in some races to enlist candidates whose positions and ideologies are well suited to the district even while conflicting in significant ways with the positions of the Democratic leadership in Washington. He has also eschewed the national Democrat brand, saying he would not support House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as speaker. By Wednesday evening, he was projected to win as the remaining absentee, provisional and military ballots would not have been enough for Saccone to surpass Lamb.

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