Where Conor Lamb, Rick Saccone Stand On The Issues

President Donald Trump won it in November 2016 by 20 points, but polls show Tuesday's race a toss-up, with one survey showing Republican Rick Saccone ahead of Democrat Conor Lamb 45 percent to 42 percent, while another has Lamb up 48 percent to 45 percent. Aside from his lack of charisma, which even the president has privately noted, the Pennsylvania operative told me that Saccone had been backed by the state's machine politics, propelling him past two candidates preferred by the national party, potentially at the expense of repelling Trump's hardcore base.

"Unofficial counts like these tend to hold up but it's when the election boards sit down and calmly go machine by machine to calmly check their arithmetic" that the race will actually be certified, Bonin said. As with several other recent special elections, the contest has taken on national significance as Democrats see it as a possible harbinger of their ability to flip control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections in November. Trump endorsed Saccone in January, and outside Republican groups have spent more than $10 million on the race in support of Saccone, who's weak fundraising numbers have seen him outraised by Lamb by almost five-to-one in the first seven weeks of the year.

"There is no doubt that Mr. Lamb has benefited from running against a lackluster opponent", the Times's editorial board wrote, but noted that "without a serious Democratic challenger, Mr. Saccone might have coasted to victory" in the special election. "If they'd nominated a liberal who allowed the campaign to become nationalized, it would be over by now", said G. Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin and Marshall College Poll in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "I don't think it has anything to do with the president".

Tariffs: He supports President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, saying at a debate that "we have to take some action to level the playing field".

He added, the economy is set to get even better with jobs and wages going up. This operative believes many PA-18 voters were unaware, for example, of Saccone's foreign policy background and the fact that he has authored nine books. Conor Lamb is the Democrat challenging Republican Rick Saccone for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Vice President Mike Pence, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump Jr. also have made cameos.

Turnout is expected to be key in the special election tonight, and both candidates are obviously aware they can't leave any votes on the table. "Conor Lamb is exciting, he does break the mold a little bit". The seat has been in Republican hands for the last 15 years.

The seat was vacated in October when Tim Murphy resigned after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the pro-life Republican urged a woman he had an affair with to have an abortion. "The Democrats ... they're throwing everything they can at this race", he said. Saccone serves as a state legislator who is an Air Force veteran.

Wilson, a 74-year-old real estate agent from Robinson Township, said she likes Saccone because "he has the same views I do" in opposing abortion and the need to fight the opioid crisis. He supports expanding fracking to extract natural gas and has distanced himself from House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Lamb, whose strong fundraising let him to run only a few hundred fewer ads than Republicans, countered those attacks while counting on a massive coordinated campaign by labor unions - who have crossed with a Saccone on issues like right-to-work and pensions - to drive out votes.

In a final-hours message on Fox Business Network, Saccone said that he's ready and willing to help Trump. The theme of the speech was to get energized against Democrats and the Democratic Party.

Trump Jr. has said the solution is to go hard in running on what his father has accomplished "and the future".

Peoples reported from NY.

  • Stacy Allen