BREAKING: Dem Declares Victory in Pennsylvania, But...
Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory over Republican Rick Saccone late last night to become Pennsylvania's newest Congressman. However, Saccone begs to differ. And the state's Bureau of Elections agrees.
Lamb has a razor-thin 641-vote lead (0.2%) with 100 percent of precincts reporting – yet absentee ballots in one GOP county remain outstanding, so no one has been officially declared the winner.
About Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District:
According to Wikipedia:
Includes parts of Greene County, Washington County, Allegheny County, and Westmoreland County. Republican Tim Murphy represented the district from 2003 to his resignation on October 21, 2017, triggering a special election. The district seat is currently vacant.
The district is concentrated in the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh. It is predominantly white, although it contains a diverse range of suburbs. It is drawn in such a way that in some locations, neighborhoods and even streets are split between the 18th and the neighboring 12th and 14th districts. In parts of the eastern portion of the district, one side of the street is in the 12th while the other side is in the 18th. In the west, one side of the street is in the 14th while the other side is in the 18th.
Although there are 70,000 more Democrats in the district than Republicans, the district has trended increasingly Republican since the mid-1990s; most of the district's state legislators are Republicans. The district is home to many large coal mines and the energy industry is an important employer in the district. The western portion of the district contains some rural regions of Washington County, as well as the very wealthy suburbs located in the northern portion of this county. This portion of Washington County tends to be more Republican than the portion contained in the neighboring 9th District. Many of Allegheny County's southern suburbs of Pittsburgh are located in the district, which range from traditionally wealthy areas such as Mount Lebanon and Upper St. Clair, middle-class communities such as Bethel Park and Scott Township, and working class labor towns such as Elizabeth.
Why The Race Matters
According to Fortune:
The race is potentially a huge opportunity for Democrats. Like Doug Jones’s win in the special election in Alabama, a win for Democrats in Pennsylvania’s 18th District would further add to the party’s momentum in the run-up to November’s midterm elections and hint at dwindling support for Trump.
For Republicans, a loss in this GOP stronghold could be potentially disastrous. While there are 70,000 more registered Democrats in the area, the district is predominantly represented by Republicans. Only two Democrats have held the seat in over 100 years, with Rep. Michael Doyle serving until 2003. A Saccone loss would be a huge blow to the party—and Trump. With the president lending airtime and support to the candidate, some fear blame would be placed on Trump if Saccone loses.