PENNSYLVANIA 18 (R -- VACANT) | PA-18

Special Election Allows Dems to Test Blue-Collar Appeal

The party’s nominee plans to expose a GOP-led Congress’s broken promises.

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Ally Mutnick
Nov. 21, 2017, 10:09 a.m.

“Republicans were trounced this month in Virginia’s affluent suburbs, sending a warning signal to members in similar districts across the country. Now Democrats are eyeing a March special election in southwestern Pennsylvania as a way to test the party’s appeal to working-class voters.”

Former federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D), who win the nomination Sunday, debuted “economic-focused message aimed at exposing a Republican-led Congress’ broken promises. … Bashing House Republicans’ attempts to take away health care in the throes of an opioid crisis, and their tax overhaul as beneficial only to the ‘1 percent,’ Lamb touched on a buyer’s-remorse narrative similar to one floated by House Democratic leaders as a way to entice Rust Belt voters who backed Donald Trump in 2016. … Though Lamb’s campaign is in its early stages, the race could offer a case study on effective Democratic messaging just as the midterm primary season kicks off.”

“While Republicans are strongly favored to hold the seat, Pennsylvania Democrats sense a rare opportunity, in part because of the GOP nominee” state Rep. Rick Saccone (R). “Saccone, who has taken votes to scale back prevailing wages and is endorsed by the Pennsylvania Right to Work PAC, may struggle to emulate Murphy’s strength with factions of organized labor. The district has nearly 90,000 union members who make up close to a quarter of the electorate.” (Hotline reporting)

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