The Pennsylvania Special Election Will Likely Be a Democratic Win

Yet another special election race has become a Republican nightmare, as voters flock to a Democratic candidate in a heavily GOP district. This time, the outcome of the Pennsylvania special election is still too close to officially call — although Democratic candidate Conor Lamb currently leads Republican Rick Saccone in the ballot count.

Both men were vying to replace Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned after being caught having an affair with a supporter — and eventually urging her to have an abortion when they suspected she might be pregnant.

Saccone, Murphy’s assumed replacement in this dark red district, won the party primary by promising to fully back the agenda of Republican President Donald Trump.

His presumed loss to Democrat Lamb — despite President Trump’s double-digit victory over Hillary Clinton in that district less than two years ago — shows exactly how powerful the backlash against the Trump administration has become. According to the New York Times, voting analysis shows that Democratic support increased in every precinct in the district — a terrifying trend for Republicans heading into the midterms this year.

The GOP is now trying to downplay the significance of their loss by claiming that Lamb is essentially a Republican himself, anyway.

“House Speaker Paul Ryan sought to define the special election last night as a race between ‘two conservatives’ since there wasn’t a Democratic primary that he argued would have pulled Conor Lamb to the left,” CNN reports. “Speaking to reporters at the weekly Republican leadership press conference, Ryan defined Lamb reputedly as a ‘pro-life, pro-gun, anti-Nancy Pelosi conservative.’”

The Republican spin is laughable. If being “anti-Nancy Pelosi” makes a Democrat conservative, well, then most of the far-left Democratic caucus must be “conservative,” too, since they are constantly condemning her for not pushing further to the left on Medicaid for all and other progressive causes.

Meanwhile, Pelosi herself is one of the few Democrats to endorse a true conservative Democrat – endangered anti-abortion, anti-healthcare, anti-LGBT Blue Dog Dan Lipinksi in Illinois — whereas most of the other progressive groups are backing his far more liberal challenger Marie Newman.

Still, the “nothing to see here” crowd is working overtime to downplay the obvious Democratic surge signified by the Pennsylvania special election. According to conservative commentator and American Majority founder Ned Ryun, the Pennsylvania results are just a “blip.” Ryun writes in The Hill:

[I]t’s hard to see 2018 developing into a blue wave. For example, the Texas primaries were hyped as a signal of the great and awesome blue wave. In the midst of a “blue wave,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won his primary with more votes than all the candidates in the Democratic Senate primary combined. There were half a million more votes in the Republican primary than the Democratic primary; the wave looked more like a blue trickle or a blue blip. While Democrat numbers in Texas were higher than normal, a lot of those numbers were in places where there were contested Democratic primaries, with progressives vs. centrists.

Ryun does get a few points right, however, and those are issues that Democrats need to stay ahead of if they really want to take back the House and Senate in 2018. Saccone failed to win what should have been an easy race — in large part because he was simply not a good candidate. Saccone was the most far-right of any candidate who ran for the GOP nomination, and he continued to run on a platform of unwavering Trump support.

What Ryun misses is that those issues are likely to dog most of the GOP candidates running in 2018. The reality is that President Trump is the leg iron dragging down every Republican candidate on the ballot.

If no other lesson comes from this special election, let that one be it: In every race, make sure the Republican candidate is rightfully tied to the head of their party, Republican President Donald Trump.

Photo Credit: Adam Baker/Flickr

23 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thank you for posting

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Terri S
Terri S9 months ago

The ONE good thing that Trump is doing - destroying the Republican Party!!

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R9 months ago

Thank you for posting.

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Danuta W
Danuta W9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Carole R
Carole R9 months ago

Yep, it was a defeat for Trump and his party.

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Winn A
Winn A9 months ago

The GOP Lost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Debbi W
Debbi W9 months ago

Conor Lamb ran as a moderate, a thinking moderate. I admire his demeanor and his ability to connect to the voters. He hasn't been declared winner, yet, the repubs are trying to figure out how to make sever hundred of his votes disappear.

The democrats need more moderate and left, forward thinking candidates, people who will run their own campaigns and win.

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Anne Moran
Anne M9 months ago

People got a taste of chump, and after a year,, they realize that he is a madman, and has done nothing to change the status quo... - On the contrary,, he's only made things worse for the country...

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Sharon H
Sharon H9 months ago

Dan, he doesn't like abortion, but he's pro-choice.

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john c
john casablanca9 months ago

Excellent article. This is no longer the party of Lincoln, but rather a party of, flip, flop, lies, deceit, rhetoric and unAmerican. They are all about CONTROL, POWER and GREED for themselves as well as their large campaign benefactors. They will say and do anything to become re-elected, even though they are NOT WORTHY.
John C./Houston, Tx.

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