Monday, 21 January, 2019

President Trump tweets for GOP candidate, Dem votes in PA

Congressional candidate for Pennsylvanias 18th district greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally with United Mine Workers of America at the Greene County Fairgrounds Drew Angerer Getty Images
Deanna Wagner | 14 March, 2018, 00:49

But the president himself has embedded his footprints in the race, campaigning twice in person and tweeting even more for Saccone as part of a full-court press by national GOP forces to avoid what would be an embarrassing defeat.

In 2016, the Republican incumbent Tim Murphy (who resigned after a sex scandal) didn't even have a Democratic opponent.

The candidates - Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone - are in a tough fight in which outside groups have spent over $12 million.

He is pro-gun, personally opposes abortion, and supports the steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump announced last week.

Pelosi is a prolific fundraiser for House Democrats, and a DCCC spokeswoman told The Washington Post last month that she was "easily the Committee's highest fundraiser".

"This was some of the most egregious gerrymandering we've ever seen in this county", Marc Stier, the director of Pennsylvania's Budget and Policy Center, said in a phone call with ThinkProgress Monday.

The 33-year-old Lamb, a Marine veteran and former federal prosecutor, recently told Politico that the courts have yet to decide on the map issue, "so we'll cross that bridge when we come to it".

"He sounds very much like a conservative Democrat ..."

As for the 18th district, the one that's so hotly contested this week? "This is not about national politics".

At Friday's event with supporters and volunteers at the party's Allegheny County office, which featured a cardboard cutout of Trump, Saccone, 60, dismissed the anonymous complaints about his campaign.

All of this has combined to make this a close race.

Trump says Wilbur Ross, EU to discuss tariffs, trade barriers
We believe that protectionism is a dead end, " French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters. It represents about 41 percent of aluminum imports and 16 percent of steel imports.

Trump Jr. joined Republican candidate Rick Saccone at Sarris Candies in Canonsburg Monday to tour the facility and encourage President Trump's base to get out to the polls. He has a 2-point advantage in the final pre-election RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling average. He noted Trump outperformed Sen. "I won this district by 22 points". "All these things ought to be working in Saccone's favor".

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.

That was the conclusion of various sources in the Keystone State hours before the polls.

In addition, Ostermeier said, Pennsylvania Democrats have won a smaller share of House races the past three election cycles than in any three-election stretch since the 1928 through 1932 period.

When you are running as a Democrat in Donald Trump country, the name Nancy Pelosi is even more toxic than the letters CNN. Lamb suggested that the tariffs should be limited to "bad actors" like China to spare allies, and both said it would level the global trade playing field.

Now, polls suggest Lamb well-positioned for an upset, despite Saccone's urging to a GOP-leaning electorate that their choice is about "making America great again", just as the president says.

All of this means that Tuesday's hyped-up special election ultimately has no effect on Democrats' efforts to take back the House of Representatives.

"It's telling, but there's still going to be lots of disappointed partisans if it's a moral victory", he said.

But even conventional Democratic Party groups showed Lamb less support than conventional Republican groups did their candidate. "You don't want to nationalize the election".

Cillizza: "Finish this sentence: "If Conor Lamb wins on Tuesday, it will tell us _ about the 2018 midterms". And neither candidate will live within the revised boundary lines of the new 18th District. It would follow Democratic victories past year in a special Senate election in solidly Republican Alabama, as well as wins in Virginia, New Jersey and a handful of state races in other parts of the country.

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