Trump won this district by 20 points in 2016. For him, this was personal.
In a stunning upset, Democrat Conor Lamb won an incredibly close special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, beating out Republican candidate Rick Saccone in a deeply conservative district the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates R+11.
The race stretched into Wednesday midday, when CNN said Lamb was in the lead with 627 votes, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. State law does not mandate a recount in district-level elections.
BREAKING: All absentee ballots counted — Democrat Conor Lamb leads a Pennsylvania special House election by 627 votes. https://t.co/3ACB7WzUMm
— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) March 14, 2018
Conventional wisdom suggested that Saccone — a candidate who once declared himself “Trump before Trump was Trump” — would do well in a district that turned out in droves for President Donald Trump in 2016. But in recent weeks, Republicans were in full panic mode, dumping over $9 million into the race. Lamb’s victory shows they were right to be so worried.
And it wasn’t just Republicans who feared losing this district, it was Trump himself.
In many ways, PA-18 was emblematic of Trump’s presidential success story; the president carried the district by 20 points in 2016, along with much of the rest of Western Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was one of the blue-collar Rust Belt states he was never supposed to win, but won anyway, in a stunning rebuke to Hillary Clinton.
Along with Wisconsin and Michigan, the Keystone state carried Trump to victory on Election Day 2016. It’s a story Trump often recounts at rallies, including the one he held for Saccone in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, on Saturday.
Voting for Saccone is exactly what the president wanted his supporters to do. Trump cared enough about Saccone …read more
Source:: Vox – All