Why the 'World Is Watching' One Pennsylvania District

Rick Saccone goes up against Conor Lamb in a special election in the 18th District
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2018 9:40 AM CDT
Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate for the special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, right, talks with reporters after voting in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Tuesday. Lamb is running...   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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(Newser) – Taking southwestern Pennsylvania's 18th District was a cakewalk for Donald Trump: He snagged the district by 20 percentage points, reports CNBC. It was similarly a breeze for former GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, who won in 2014 and 2016 without even facing a Democratic challenger. But reports that Murphy urged his lover to abort her child brings us to where we are Tuesday: A special election is being held for his seat, and Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone, who faces Democrat Conor Lamb, is anything but a shoo-in. NPR reports that since Trump took office, 39 state legislative seats have turned blue. Will this be No. 40? Polls close at 8pm in the district, which encompasses many Pittsburgh suburbs; here's what you need to know:

  • Temporary: CNBC points out that the "practical effect on Congress" of the election "may be small." That's because it's temporary: Thanks to a new state congressional map, come November neither man will even live in the 18th: Lamb would be running in a new 17th District, Saccone in a redrawn 14th District. So it's more about bragging rights and momentum. And going into Tuesday, Lamb may have it, with a Monmouth University poll out Monday suggesting Lamb was ahead 51% to 45%, though that's based on a projected strong Democratic turnout.

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