Pennsylvania Republicans Warn Trump to 'Stay Away' During Mid-Terms

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ATOP a hill sits St Bernard, a Catholic church with glorious murals depicting scenes from the book of Revelation.

Republicans privately agree, even as they look to pin the blame mostly on Saccone and downplay what it would mean to lose a deep red, culturally conservative district after a brutal loss in an Alabama Senate race late a year ago, a beat-down in Virginia's gubernatorial race, dozens of losses of state legislative seats and a number of close calls in House special elections. Local volunteers were manning phone banks, while others regularly came in to pick up their instructions for visiting voters home on the final day before polls open.

The Pennsylvania special election is to replace Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned previous year amid revelations of an extramarital affair in which the anti-abortion lawmaker urged his mistress to get an abortion when he thought she was pregnant. This triggered the special election.

Lamb's district, Pennsylvania's 18th, voted for Donald Trump by 20 percentage points more than Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

The new face of a blue-collar family with political roots, Lamb is socially conservative and economically moderate, and backs the tariffs that Trump announced he is slapping on steel and aluminum imports.

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With the Democrat Conor Lamb on the verge of a major upset in the special election, Trump traveled to Pittsburgh to help boost the campaign of Republican Rick Saccone. PredictIt, a political betting-market, has Mr Lamb as a slight favourite.

Asked whether he was concerned about recent polling showing the race trending toward Lamb, Saccone said he wasn't because of what he has been hearing from voters.

Overall, likely voters polled in Pennsylvania 18 have a 53 percent positive, 33 percent unfavorable view of Lamb and a more divided take on Saccone (47 percent percent favorable to 43 percent unfavorable).

Lamb is "a very attractive candidate, and the optics of comparison between them have not been favorable to Saccone", Harold said.

"We need to build a working class movement right here in this district!" exclaims Roberts to attendees, imploring the union cadre to get out the vote on behalf of Conor Lamb.

Nervous Republicans are pulling out all the stops. But Saccone has struggled with his own fundraising, is a union foe and hasn't run as aggressive a campaign as Lamb, prompting criticism from Republicans in Washington who quietly concede Lamb is a stronger candidate.

The president's protectionism is popular in the Steel City, which once produced half of the nation's steel. In essence, Kimball said, the race is a toss-up and could go either way.

In the week since these two polls were conducted, three events have occurred that are likely to move the needle towards Republican Saccone.

Even a narrow win by Saccone would underscore challenges for Republicans, who've labored to win races in Republican-friendly areas since Trump became president.

What happened to make this such a hotly contested election?

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

Mr Saccone is a portly 60-year-old, who is also a veteran, and has been a state representative since 2011.

But at Sarris Candies the tax cut allowed for it to significantly boost its staff, which was on full display as a company official led Saccone, Trump Jr., and a large throng of reporters on a tour through the factory, which was converted from the old Sarris family home almost 60 years ago. "He's good with the Second Amendment".

Outside groups have made up for Saccone's abysmal fundraising numbers.

President Donald Trump told western Pennsylvania voters Saturday night that his new tariffs were saving the steel industry and urged them to send a Republican to the House so he can keep delivering those kinds of results. Similarly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi only has a 20% approval rate, with 57% disapproving.

Both sides are pouring huge financial resources into the race. Numerous ads are negative and lack substance.

"You elect this man to Congress and you won't have to lobby him for one minute". He blasts the new Republican tax law as a gift to the wealthy and a threat to Social Security and Medicare.

The special election contest in southwest Pennsylvania will come to an end on Tuesday night and, though the victor remains in doubt, the post-election spin pretty much writes itself. The victor will have to decide whether to run again in a new district in just two months.

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