Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
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Conor Lamb vs. Rick Saccone live results: Pennsylvania 18 special election

Conor Lamb vs. Rick Saccone live results: Pennsylvania 18 special election

"We need our Congressman Saccone, we have to have him".

For the weeks of February 4 and February 11, roughly two-thirds of the broadcast television ads from Saccone's campaign, the super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund and the National Republican Congressional Committee mentioned taxes, according to a POLITICO analysis of data from Advertising Analytics.

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 victor of the March 13 special election will succeed Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), who resigned last October.

Supporters hug after President Donald Trump's motorcade drove past them following his viewing of border wall prototypes in San Diego, March 13, 2018. Trump, who made a local appearance on Saturday on behalf of Saccone's candidacy, carried the 18th Congressional District in 2016 by 19 points.

While Lamb is depending on union support, Saccone needs support from Trump voters like Judy Wilson.

Republican congressional leadership has chided Saccone for his poor fundraising efforts, and dumped millions of dollars into the race that many thought was safe going into 2018.

Former Republican Tim Murphy enjoyed union backing in the district, making it hard for any Democrat to defeat him.

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

"Pennsylvania Republican Congressional candidate Rick Saccone said on Tuesday he will be "[President Donald] Trump's wingman" in pushing a pro-growth agenda while his opponent, Democrat Conor Lamb is "trying to disguise himself as a moderate, but is far left".

Democrats say a win in this red district - or even a narrow loss - means they can compete anywhere by capitalizing on Trump's unpopularity and high levels of anti-Trump enthusiasm.

Saccone spoke to reporters shortly before casting his ballot Tuesday near his home in rural Allegheny County south of Pittsburgh. Murphy resigned in October. And so now more than ever, these candidates matter, these campaigns matter.

Democrats must flip 24 GOP-held seats this fall to seize control of the House, and few counted on this Pittsburgh-area district to be in play. Results just before midnight had Democrat Conor Lamb ahead by just under 1,000 votes. 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.

The misconception that the extreme right within the Republican Party elected Donald Trump is a misguided notion that will hurt the Republican Party if it becomes the party's conventional wisdom. They're not throwing in the towel entirely, but they're very pessimistic. Jobs and wages up. "I don't know if we're ready - I don't know if this country's ready for it", Trump said.

The massive Republican tax code overhaul passed into law late a year ago is facing voters in a major election for the first time Tuesday.

Delano: In a district that Donald Trump won by almost 20 points and no Democrat has come close to winning in decades, it's undeniable, in my view, that this election is a referendum on the performance of President Trump. Conor's father worked in the Congress in the 1980s for US Rep. Austin Murphy, and is now a well-connected top government affairs officer for PNC, the nation's ninth largest bank.

The back-to-back events days ahead of Tuesday's special election in southwestern Pennsylvania provided a snapshot look at how a House district that should be safely in the Republican column and that President Donald Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016 is suddenly competitive. If Saccone loses, GOP forces will insist it's his fault. Lamb, for example, would likely run in what is now Rep. Keith Rothfus' (R) district.

Lamb's loud proclamation that he wouldn't vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader is a thoroughly empty gesture, as he surely knows.

For three straight election cycles, Republicans in the state have held 13 seats in the state's congressional delegation, while Democrats have held just five.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. (0000 GMT). Only two are on the air now - one from the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action which briefly mentions the tax law, and a radio ad from a progressive group attacking Saccone for supporting the law.

But the Republican nominee finds himself risking an upset that would rattle GOP confidence as it tries to defend its House majority.

Of course, the President and Republicans will blame Saccone for the loss and distance themselves from the campaign.

The victor replaces Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned in October amid a sex scandal.

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