President Trump hails GOP candidate in special PA election


Did Trump return to focusing on Saccone and providing detailed and compelling reasons to support him? Democrat Conor Lamb has proven to be a stellar candidate.

The 18th District stretches from the southwest corner of the state east past Ligonier.

Trump won the district by 20 points in the presidential election, but the closeness of Republican Saccone and Democratic candidate Connor Lamb has prompted injections of cash and magnified attention on the race. In one of his campaign ads, he aims an AR-15. We've seen that in pretty much every race.

But Lamb is apparently having enough success to worry Saccone's most high-profile backer.

Emerson College professor Spencer Kimball oversaw a poll in early March that found Lamb had a small lead within the poll's margin of error.

Trump thinks Saccone is a awful, "weak" candidate, according to four sources who've spoken to the president about him.

Although Trump won the district by huge margins, and Murphy convincingly won re-election multiple times, most recent polls suggest the Lamb-Saccone race is almost tied.

He said it was crucial for Republicans to muster forces to turn back a strong Democratic drive to win one or both houses of the US Congress in November midterm elections.

"With all the millions the've spent, they're not anywhere near where they thought they'd be".

The president told Saccone supporters last weekend that Lamb is trying to con them.

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"One thing Conor Lamb has done is appeal to moderate voters while maintaining enthusiasm among the Democratic base", said Mike Mukis, a Democratic consultant from the 18th District.

State Rep. Greg Rothman serves with Sacconne in the Pennsylvania legislature and worked on the team that helped Trump win in the state.

Saturday night, at a rally near Pittsburgh for congressional hopeful Rick Saccone, Trump all but announced his re-election bid, announcing his slogan - "Keep America Great!" - touting his accomplishments, berating "evil" Washington insiders and decrying the "fake news media".

Last April, Trump also praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem" during a phone call. "They have insane uncle Joe Biden", Saccone said Wednesday as the former vice president visited the district.

All this effort comes as the candidates battle for a district that nearly certainly won't exist after this year.

Lamb has run as an independent-minded figure. "You kill 5,000 people with drugs because you're smuggling them in and you are making a lot of money and people are dying".

But while both sides have decided that the race is worth digging deep into their pocketbooks, the fact remains that, unlike Virginia and part of Georgia where candidates also went head to head previous year, this area in Pennsylvania voted solidly and overwhelmingly Republican in 2016.

"It's no secret 2018 is going to be a challenging year and quality candidates and quality campaigns matter", said Congressional Leadership Fund spokeswoman Courtney Alexander.