Pennsylvania election to be a test of pre-midterm Democratic appeal

Pennsylvania election to be a test of pre-midterm Democratic appeal

Today, Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District will vote in a special election in which Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor,

FILE PHOTO: Lamb speaks at his campaign rally in Houston

Photo: Reuters/Alan Freed

Today, Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District will vote in a special election in which Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, faces off against Republican state representative Rick Saccone.

Early polls indicated Mr Saccone was well on his way to victory in this historically Republican-leaning district. However, the race appears to have tightened. Polls released last week show Mr Lamb has closed the gap on his Republican counterpart and at least two polls show him with a lead of three or more points.

Significantly, the race is being seen as an indicator of how the Democrats will fare in the upcoming November midterm elections. Donald Trump won the district by a margin of almost 20 points in the presidential election and has campaigned enthusiastically for Mr Saccone. Additionally, Mr Lamb is running as a considerably moderate Democrat, personally opposed to abortion and to new gun control legislation. A Republican loss here would be the second such result in which Mr Trump has intervened in the past three months, an ominous omen ahead of November’s all-important midterm elections.