Voter Turnout Will Be Crucial In Toss-Up Special Election


"God knows, if it's going to make it hard for Trump, the media's going to be all over it", the president's oldest son said. Greene County, a small, hilly parcel of land in Pennsylvania's southwestern corner, sits on one of the largest coal seams in the USA, yet has seen nine of its 12 mines close in the last decade. Perhaps the state party of the person who left the seat would be allowed to fill it, or the House's sergeant at arms could appoint a non-partisan administrator who wouldn't vote on legislation but who could handle constituent complaints.

Lamb, 33, has been hard for Republicans to depict as a liberal because of his background, message discipline and mixed political views that include opposing Pelosi (D-Calif.) and supporting more natural-gas drilling.

CANONSBURG, Pennsylvania - The final day of campaigning Monday before votes are cast in Pennsylvania's closely watched congressional election drew a visit by Donald Trump Jr. and lots of door-knocking all over the southwestern district where polls show a close race.

President Donald Trump made a stop just outside Pittsburgh on Saturday night to campaign for state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny) days ahead of the special election for the 18th Congressional district. He's up against 33-year-old Conor Lamb, who pitches himself as an independent-minded Democrat. "People have paid into these programs over the course of a lifetime", Lamb told more than 300 retired coal miners and Democratic activists Sunday in Waynesburg, 40 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Lamb is something of a paradox.

According to Kimball, voter participation varies widely in special elections, and can drop below 30 percent in off-year elections. He also has a military background, having served in the Air Force. He's not in favor of a ban on assault rifles.

As noted above, President Trump won this district by more than 20 points in 2016, so the mere fact that the race is so close is highly unusual to say the least. One Republican ad portrays Mr Lamb, who insists he will not back Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader at the House, as a sheep of Ms Pelosi who would immediately join her liberal flock once in Washington, DC.

Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone meets with supporters at the VFW Post 4793 while campaigning on March 5, 2018 in Waynesburg, Pa. Saccone is running for the vacated seat of Congressman Tim Murphy against Conor Lamb. Democrats are targeting dozens of districts where the president got a lower vote share than the 58 percent he received in Pennsylvania's 18th District 16 months ago. "The Democrats were for the workers". The only chance she's got to become speaker is electing Democrats. It's just a couple of degrees above freezing, and he's passing time with two old friends who worked in the same mine. One percent of voters polled support a third-party candidate, while three percent remain undecided. "And I'll tell you some more - my wife and I saw it again today - they have a hatred for God".

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"I always say I'm a walking poll". "I never liked Bill Clinton, and I don't like Hillary Clinton". "I don't know much about Rick Saccone", he acknowledged, adding that he remains skeptical about Trump.

The contempt for Trump was palpable from numerous miners at the rally.

Saccone and Lamb have also battled over the best way to combat the opioid crisis, which has hit the state of Pennsylvania and the district especially hard.

"Your steel is coming back". We're something of the past.

The new map splits most of the current 18th Congressional District between the new heavily Republican 14th District and a more competitive 17th Congressional District. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has struck down the map, and Lamb is likely to run next fall against Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA) in a much less conservative district than the gerrymandered one he's now trying to win. But perhaps more critically, it could mark a potential upending of the Democratic status quo in Washington.

Bob Zelleznick, 59, of Bethel Park, said he intends to vote for Lamb and hopes for a Democratic win that would make the White House sit up and take notice. "These are our roots".

And is Lamb an heir to that?

"He supports small business owners and would do anything for you to make sure that your business is successful", said Stephanie Squibb, 48, of Elizabeth, who owns a local printing company. "This guy is the real deal".