Pennsylvania House race a test for both parties

Posted on: March 13th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) — The stakes are high in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District special election as both Democrats and Republicans are closely watching the results for indications of how the 2018 midterm elections may play out and for signs of who might control the House of Representatives after November.

If Democrat Conor Lamb wins, his party will claim their candidates can run and win anywhere in the country – even ruby red districts won by Donald Trump with double digits — which will boost their odds in regaining the House.

If GOP candidate Rick Saccone wins, Republicans will argue that their chances of keeping the House remain solid.

8:15 P.M. – Conor Lamb supporters hopeful

At Conor Lamb headquarters in Canonsburg, Penn., a roar went up at 8 p.m. when polls closed, a major milestone for so many of the party’s attendees who have braved the western Pennsylvania cold all winter to canvass for the political novice. All election night parties begin as spirited affairs but there’s a notable buzz in the air here and campaign staffers have been doing a poor job of hiding their grins.

8:00 P.M. – Polls have closed in Pennsylvania

6:25 P.M. – The sights and sounds of election day

Conor Lamb took his grandmother to the polls to vote this morning in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. Rick Saccone thanked President Trump as he exited the voting booth.

See below for a round-up of the sights and sounds of Election Day so far in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

5:42 P.M. – Both candidates urging last minute voters to get to the polls

With just two and a half hours left until polls close, both Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb are taking to Twitter to urge those last minute voters to get out and vote before 8 P.M.

Turnout is expected to be key in the special election tonight, and both candidates are obviously aware they can’t leave any votes on the table.

3:51 P.M. – Candidates project aura of optimism

ABC’s News “18 for 18” reporter Adam Kelsey, on the ground in the 18th Congressional District, reports that both campaigns have attempted to project an aura of optimism as voters head to the polls.

Democrat Conor Lamb’s campaign aides and volunteers are downright bubbly when you speak to them, clearly aware that their candidate has made major strides in this deep-red district, win or lose.

On the other side, GOP candidate Rick Saccone told ABC News on Monday that he was feeling confident.

As for voters?

Kelsey notes that are the Hillary Clinton supporters who have been horrified by the past year and are downright giddy at the chance to set off a blue wave while there are President Donald Trump supporters trying to “save the country.”

Then there are the union members who want to save their jobs and think Lamb is the candidate who will look out for them because Saccone has defended “right to work” laws.

And there are union members who want to save their jobs and know that Saccone will back Trump’s tariffs (although Lamb supports them too) and the “America first” agenda to do it.

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