Money isn't everything: Rick Saccone's $11m election failure - in numbers

20 March, 2018, 06:17 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Conor Lamb Democratic Congressional candidate for Pennsylvania's 18th district sits with supporters as he waits to speak during a rally at the United Steelworkers Building in Pittsburgh

Vote counting should wrap up next Tuesday, before Republicans decide whether to sue or seek a recount.

The matchup in southwest Pennsylvania pits the strength of President Donald Trump's grasp on blue-collar America against the energy and frustrations of the political left.

Trump won whites with some or no college education by 39 points, a wider margin than any candidate since at least 1980. There are only about 200 absentee ballots there, however, according to the state official. Having purchased what Trump was selling once, Americans have been carefully assessing what their votes bought. "And if he's so close to the Republican Party and Trump, why did they spend $10 million trying to defeat him?" Democrats can be encouraged to realize it may not take a heroic improvement to win back certain congressional districts.

All four of those takeaways lead to the last one: The Republican House majority is in real danger come November. No respecter of rules, he troubles many Republicans due to their native affinity for order, while alienating Democrats, who wrote numerous rules when they were the natural party of governance between 1933 and 1969.

Recent GOP history shows Democrats the very double-edged sword at issue.

In this week's special election, Conor Lamb (Democrat) received about the same number of votes as did Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Instead of blaming Saccone or crediting Lamb, it makes far more sense to consider that the President's performance in office was the key factor in Pennsylvania.

Total Cost Per Vote in the Pennsylvania Special Election*Total spending as of February 21, 2018, and therefore not complete.

That was good enough for the United Steelworkers and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, who both held rallies for Lamb. According to audio of the remarks obtained by The Atlantic, Mr. Trump said Lamb had run a "pretty smart race" and "sounds like a Republican".

It may have been the narrowest of victories, but it has sent the biggest electoral warning to Republicans since Trump won the White House. Former Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned in October after it was revealed he'd asked his lover to get an abortion, ran his last two races unopposed by a Democrat. "That's a lot", Mr. Trump said.

Gregory Harvey, another lawyer who specializes in Pennsylvania election law and recounts, said the gospel among election lawyers is that recount drives are meant to raise campaign donations.

AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka is weighing in on behalf of Democrat Conor Lamb.

The Democrat also opposed the GOP tax law championed by Ryan, pledged to fight any GOP efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare spending, and promised to back labor unions. But the bottom line is when he votes, he's going to vote with Nancy Pelosi ... he's not going to vote with the Republicans.

Dems' take: Republicans have dominated this district for 15 years. Nationally, in 2016, Trump won the suburbs with 49 percent. Lamb appears to have eked past Saccone by 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent.

During a Fox News interview on Wednesday, National Republican Congressional Committee chair Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) suggested that some sort of voter fraud played a role in Democrat Conor Lamb's likely victory over Republican Rick Saccone in a special election in a red district of southwestern Pennsylvania - one that President Trump won by almost 20 points in 2016. But AP Politics Writer Bill Barrow says the Democrat's strong showing is bad news for Republicans.

Saccone spoke to reporters shortly before casting his ballot Tuesday near his home in rural Allegheny County south of Pittsburgh.

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