Trump stumps for Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania

Moon Township Pa. Saccone is running against Democrat Conor Lamb in a special election being held on March 13 for the

Republicans are waging a expensive political rescue operation in southwestern Pennsylvania to stave off a shaming special-election defeat.

The event was held to support Republican Rick Saccone who is neck and neck with Democrat Conor Lamb in a congressional district that Trump won by over 20 points in the 2016 elections.

The president told Saccone supporters last weekend that Lamb is trying to con them. In 24 consecutive special House elections, the party defending the vacant district has been victorious, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Government.

Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, a political forecasting unit of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, rates the race a toss-up.

Lamb has run as an independent-minded figure. "Do me a favor get out on Tuesday vote for Rick Saccone and we can leave right now", said Trump. Get out on Tuesday and vote for Rick Saccone. Lamb will always vote for Pelosi and Dems....

I would say that Trump couldn't have hurt Saccone more if he'd directly praised Conor Lamb on the stump.

Nearby in DeFelice's upper-middle-class subdivision outside Pittsburgh, engineer Carol Heinecke, 57, offered another absolute reason for supporting Saccone: President Donald Trump. "I think it's a discussion we have to start thinking about don't you agree?" But Trump did that as well, saying that Lamb "looks like a nice guy" - but that Trump is actually the more handsome of the two.

But Lamb's local campaign has pulled in more money than Saccone's, and is riding a tide of grassroots enthusiasm that has brought Lamb within striking distance of his more experienced opponent.

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Fundraising struggles have limited Saccone's ability to tell his own story. According to Saccone's March filing with the Federal Election Commission, he raised $703,000 in the first half of 2018.

So Saccone and Republican forces have answered with their national arguments.

Although Saccone has not proven to be a strong fundraiser (FiveThirtyEight claims he has raised nearly $920,000 for the race as compared to Lamb's $3.9 million), he has received over $10 million from Republican groups to prop up his campaign. "Yeah, they were hilarious", he said.

But Lamb has resonated with voters, including some centrist Republicans.

Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ron Johnson (R-WI) questions Kirstjen Nielsen (unseen) on her nomination to be secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington, U.S., November 8, 2017.

About 93 percent of district residents are non-Hispanic white, compared with 62 percent nationwide. The president repeatedly reminisced about his election, when Pennsylvania helped put him over the top after decades of landing in the Democrats' column. "You'd be so bored", said Trump.

The district has education and income levels higher than the national and Pennsylvania averages in part because it includes some affluent parts of Allegheny County near Pittsburgh.

Last week, the president promised "strong" policies to tackle the opioid crisis, and suggested that capital punishment might be the best solution to accomplish that.


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