A GOP Loss In Trump-Country Special Election Would Be Devastating

You may not have heard of Rick Saccone, but for the next week, he just might be the most important man in American politics.

Saccone, a Republican, faces Democrat Conor Lamb in a March 13 special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. The two are vying to replace Tim Murphy, a Republican who had to resign after scandals about mistreatment of staff and allegedly asking his mistress to get an abortion, even though he was one of the most strongly pro-life members of Congress.

Under normal circumstances, this should not be a difficult race for Saccone. Yes, Democrats hold a 70,000-person edge in voter registration, but President Trump carried the district by 20 points, Murphy won unopposed his last two terms and Saccone is used to winning in districts where his party is in the minority.

Moreover, it is estimated that Saccone has outspent his opponent 17-to-1, he will have received campaign visits by President Trump, Vice President Pence and first daughter Ivanka Trump by election day and is running in a district that has voted Republican by increasing margins in the last five presidential elections.

But this is no ordinary year.

Lamb, who, at 33, already has served as an officer in the Marines and a federal prosecutor, is no ordinary opponent. His family has been in politics for generations, he has announced he would not support Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as speaker, and he has managed to pull even or even surpass Saccone in the polls.

And there could not be much more riding on one race in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania in a district that may not even exist once Pennsylvania settles on a redistricting plan.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at The Hill

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment

Analysis & Political Strategy