Trump Jr. Campaigns For Saccone Day Before Special Election

Republican Rick Saccone right basked in the glow of a crowd during a campaign rally with President Donald Trump on Saturday

President Donald Trump won the district by about 20 points in 2016.

President Donald Trump isn't the only candidate tweeting for his preferred candidate in a western Pennsylvania special congressional election.

Delano: Conor Lamb comes from a Democratic political family with deep roots in Allegheny County politics. "They've gotta get out and vote, and if they get out and vote, we win easily". The seat became vacant when former Republican Representative Tim Murphy admitted to cheating on his wife.

The district leans heavily Republican, with Trump winning its voters by double digits in 2016, but Democrat Conor Lamb has emerged with a small lead in the polls in the days leading up to the election. He brought the president in to campaign for him on Saturday, and in November said he was "Trump before Trump was Trump".

The 60-year-old Air Force veteran turned state lawmaker and college instructor enjoys enthusiastic backing from social conservatives who've anchored his state career, and he's perhaps at his most animated when he touts his opposition to abortion rights. "So Democrats are hoping to steal a victory in this critical Rust Belt District by turning working-class voters that propelled Trump to victory against him".

The outcome carries major implications for the president and congressional Republicans fighting to hold onto their majority in November's midterm elections. Even with, say, a three-seat majority, the Republicans would select all the committee chairmen and thwart any investigation into the misdeeds of the Trump administration. The voters apparently didn't know they weren't part of the 18th District, or that no election was taking place in their district.

The vice president argues that Trump's entire agenda is on the line in a race that is being viewed as a bellwether of a challenging midterm election cycle for Republicans.

Trump Jr. repeatedly told reporters that the president's agenda would be on the ballot on Tuesday. Jobs and wages up.

Lamb has largely avoided mentioning Trump, who remains generally popular in the district even if slightly diminished from his 2016 dominance.

Lamb has positioned himself as a moderate and could offer a roadmap for other Democratic candidates running in areas outside liberal strongholds.

"We worked really hard for it and I think it paid off", he said.

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In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Pence says "the only thing at stake is everything" in the race between Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb.

And he embraces unions, highlighting Saccone's anti-labor record at the statehouse - a noticeable deviation from Murphy's status as a union-friendly Republican. He resigned last fall.

Democrats across the country in special elections over the past year consistently tried to make the races referendums on President Donald Trump, while their Republican opponents typically focus on qualifications, independence and grasp on local issues.

Lamb may opt to run for a full two-year term in the new 17th District, which will be more favorable terrain for Democrats, while Saccone could opt for the more conservative 14th District.

Unions, however, have come out strongly for Lamb - something they didn't do for Hillary Clinton in 2016. That's a key group in this industrial region.

One potential explanation for the lack of enthusiasm could be Lamb's outspoken criticism of Democrats' congressional leadership, specifically his non-endorsement of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Trump went all in previous year, backing Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election, only for Moore to lose in historic fashion to a Democrat.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

Saccone, meanwhile, portrayed himself as an underdog, as national Republicans quietly blamed him for the closeness of the race.

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

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