"Pennsylvania Republican Congressional candidate Rick Saccone said on Tuesday he will be "[President Donald] Trump's wingman" in pushing a pro-growth agenda while his opponent, Democrat Conor Lamb is "trying to disguise himself as a moderate, but is far left".
Conor Lamb, Democratic congressional candidate for Pennsylvania's 18th district, arrives at his polling station at First Church of Christ, March 13, 2018 in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Democrats need to flip 24 Republican-held seats for a House majority, and they'd not been counting on Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District. Although Trump won the district by 20 points in 2016, Lamb looks now to be in striking distance of Saccone, down by single digits in most polls and even leading in a few released just this week.
During his last campaign rally before Tuesday's special election, Saccone said Democrats continue to repeat a false narrative of failure against the Trump administration. "So when some so-called news organizations says they've got an anonymous source that says Republicans are throwing me under the bus, I say that's unfair journalism and fake news".
"I saw a small improvement, I think I got like $90 more in my pay", Mary Ann Cupples Wisniowski, chair of the Collier Democratic Committee in Pennsylvania, told Business Insider ahead of a rally for Lamb.
This strategist said that, based on the polling available, it's clear Trump was not the reason for why the race in a traditionally Republican district has been so tight.
To better understand the race - and what it all means about and for Trump - I reached out to Jon Delano, the lead political analyst for Pittsburgh's KDKA, for his perspective. He added, "I do think Trump is doing a good job". "The Trump voters have to get out and vote".
Rick Tyler, who formerly served as communications director for Republican Sen. But almost as much of the district is suburban and includes some of the swing voters that Republicans will have to convince if they are going to hold on to the U.S. House nationally. Vice President Mike Pence, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump Jr. also have made cameos.
"If we do nothing in terms of cutting programs, if we just keep things as they are, America's gonna go flat bankrupt over the next 10 years". "Conor Lamb is exciting, he does break the mold a little bit".
Democrat Conor Lamb, fighting for an upset victory in a congressional district that Donald Trump easily won in 2016, insisted Tuesday as voters headed to the polls that the race wasn't about the larger-than-life personality in the White House.
Saccone and Lamb are competing in the 18th District to replace Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned last October amid personal scandal.
Some Democrats said they saw small gains in their take-home pay, but nothing substantial.
The 60-year-old Air Force veteran turned state lawmaker and college instructor enjoys enthusiastic backing from social conservatives who've anchored his state career, and he's perhaps at his most animated when he touts his opposition to abortion rights.
Lamb's loud proclamation that he wouldn't vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader is a thoroughly empty gesture, as he surely knows. He also said he opposes major new gun restrictions - though he backs expanded background checks - and declared himself personally opposed to abortion, despite his support for its legality.
On Tuesday, after casting his own ballot in the suburb of Pittsburgh where he lives, Lamb will hit the polls with his grandmother, then with a conservative Democrat whom he defeated for the party's nomination.
The AFL-CIO counts 87,000 voters from union households - around a fifth of the electorate. While the old adage - all politics is local - is generally true, in my view, President Trump has nationalized the 2018 midterms.
Contributing: Jakob Lazzaro, Eric Miller, and Caroline Vakil reported from southwestern Pennsylvania for the Medill News Service.