PA-18

Lamb Finally Certified as Special Election Winner

“The last county left to certify its election results for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional district did so Monday morning, leaving no more obstacles separating Conor Lamb and his seat in the U.S. House,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

“The certification is the final step in officially declaring Mr Lamb the winner of the March 13 special election, which was to fill the vacancy left by former Rep. Tim Murphy’s resignation last year.”

Lamb and Saccone Will Both Run Again

“Just days after the still too-close-to call special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, it appears that Conor Lamb (D) will seek reelection in state’s new 17th congressional district this fall, setting up a likely match with Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA),” ABC News reports.

“Rick Saccone (R), who competed against Lamb Tuesday night, is gathering petitions to run in the new 14th congressional district in November.”

Trump Says Lamb Won Because He’s ‘Like Trump’

President Trump broke his silence on the Pennsylvania special election at a private fundraiser, telling a crowd of donors that Conor Lamb (D) had run “a pretty smart race, actually,” according to an audio recording of the remarks obtained by The Atlantic.

Said Trump: “The young man last night that ran, he said, ‘Oh, I’m like Trump. Second Amendment, everything. I love the tax cuts, everything.’ He ran on that basis. He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me. I said, ‘Is he a Republican? He sounds like a Republican to me.’”

Quote of the Day

“I think the President helped close this race. I think you saw the public polling. The public polling wasn’t looking so good and the President came in and helped close this race and got it to where it is right now, which is within a few hundred votes.”

— Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), quoted by CNN, when asked if the Pennsylvania special election was a “wake up” call for President Trump.

Most Republicans In Denial After Special Election Loss

“Republicans on Wednesday struggled to explain their likely loss in the Pennsylvania special election: GOP leaders warned lawmakers that the outcome in the pro-Trump district could spell disaster in the midterms if they don’t respond forcefully, but many lawmakers dismissed the race as an anomaly and seemed to be in denial,” Politico reports.

“Most rank-and-file going in and out of the meeting downplayed the election, suggesting Republican candidate Rick Saccone was weak and Lamb was a “unicorn” who couldn’t be replicated in tight races this fall.”

Republicans Prepare for a Recount in Pennsylvania

“The special congressional election in Pennsylvania appears headed to a recount, with Republicans preparing behind the scenes to cry foul after the vote count showed Democrat Conor Lamb leading Republican Rick Saccone by 627 votes,” Politico reports.

“The GOP is considering challenging the accuracy of voting machines in the district, in addition to confusion over the state’s changing congressional map later this year.”

Lamb Wins Special Election In Pennsylvania

Conor Lamb (D) is the apparent winner over Rick Saccone (R) in Tuesday’s special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, according to an NBC News projection.

Mike Allen: “Regardless of the ultimate winner, it was a humiliating and sobering night for the GOP. This a district President Trump won by 20 points. The Democratic energy and Republican depression signal a brutal midterm season and the increasingly likely return of Speaker Pelosi.”

Rick Klein: “As Republicans pick up the pieces – and ponder the prospect of spending more money on Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District if Rick Saccone wants a recount – they will know well that there are easily 100 House districts that are likely to be more competitive than Pennsylvania’s special election had any right to be.”

Special Election Results

Barring a major tabulation error, Dave Wasserman projects that Conor Lamb (D) has defeated Rick Saccone (R) in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district.

Absentee ballots are being counted tonight, but it’s not likely that Saccone can make up his deficit in the remaining ballots. Saccone’s best path at this point is through a recount.

That said, the Associated Press is not yet calling the race.

Republicans Gloomy About Tonight’s Special Election

Playbook: “Several Republicans reached out to us this morning and said they expect it could be an early night in Pennsylvania. At this point, GOP insiders involved in the race expect Conor Lamb (D) to win Pennsylvania’s 18th district. Some RNC overnight data came back, and Republican Rick Saccone (R) is in a tough spot, according to these sources.”

Predict It political futures also give the advantage to Lamb tonight.

FiveThirtyEight: Watch the Pennsylvania 18th special election like a pro.

Confused Voters Think They Have a Special Election Too

“Voters in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district are heading to the polls in a neck-and-neck special election that’s caught national attention,” the Allentown Morning Call reports.

“Meanwhile, confused voters in Pennsylvania’s 17 other congressional districts have logged angry calls and messages with their local elections offices after finding their own polls closed Tuesday.”

Saccone Says His Opponents Hate God

In his closing message in the Pennsylvania special election, Rick Saccone (R) asserted that his political opponents “hate” the president, the United States, and even God, NBC News reports.

Said Saccone: “They’re energized for hate for our president. Many of them have a hatred for our country. I’ll tell you some more — my wife and I saw it again today, they have a hatred for God.”

GOP Abandoned Tax Cut Message In Special Election

“The strategy shift has been dramatic. For the weeks of Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, roughly two-thirds of the broadcast television ads from Saccone’s campaign, the super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund and the NRCC mentioned taxes, according to a Politico analysis of data from Advertising Analytics. For the week of Feb. 18, that dropped to 36 percent, and to 14 percent the week after.”

“Since the beginning of March, tax ads have been essentially non-existent. Only two are on the air now — one from the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action which briefly mentions the tax law, and a radio ad from a progressive group attacking Saccone for supporting the law.”