CANONSBURG, Pa./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans sounded alarm bells on Wednesday after Democrats claimed victory in a Pennsylvania congressional election seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s performance, although the final vote result remained officially too close to call.
In an ominous sign for Trump’s Republicans eight months before national midterm elections, moderate Democrat Conor Lamb led conservative Republican Rick Saccone by a fraction of a percentage point in the race for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The final result may not be available until Friday.
The election should have been a shoo-in for Republicans. Trump actively campaigned for Saccone, who started the race well ahead of Lamb in a district Trump won by almost 20 points in the 2016 presidential election.
Says Sack Pelosi!
he blue dog Democrat who has apparently won the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th district is coming out of the fate calling for the sacking of the party’s House leader, Nancy Pelosi.
Conor Lamb, who at last count is leading the special election over Rick Saccone with under a thousand votes, is calling for new leadership of the Democratic Party.
“I have said and I continue to say that I think we need new leadership at the top of both parties in the House,” Lamb said during an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday morning. “And so, I’d like to see someone besides Nancy Pelosi run and that’s who I would support, but I definitely would like to see different leader than Paul Ryan on the other side.”
“It’s nothing personal” against Pelosi, Lamb continued. “I just think that the leadership of both parties have presided over a time when we’ve had more and more gridlock and fewer and fewer important things getting done. And I always learn that responsibility starts at the top. So, I think we need to sweep some new people in there.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday praised Democrat Conor Lamb after Lamb declared victory in his bid for a Pittsburgh-area House seat in a special election.
“The people of Pennsylvania’s 18th district showed up yesterday,” Biden tweeted.
“They demonstrated that they want to be represented by someone who stands up for working people with actions, not just words. Who has heart. They found that in
@ConorLambPA. He will represent them well.”
‘Wake-up call’ for Republicans…
- Republicans are increasingly concerned about the 2018 landscape after Democrat Conor Lamb appeared to pull off an unlikely win in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.
- The race was officially still too close to call, but Lamb declared victory over Republican Rick Saccone.
- It came in a district where President Donald Trump won by about 20 points in 2016.
- “No suburban district is safe and every candidate better be ready for the most difficult cycle of their career,” one Republican strategist close to the race told Business Insider.
Republicans are panicked after Democrat Conor Lamb closed in on a victory over Republican Rick Saccone in a Pennsylvania congressional district that went for President Donald Trump by 20 points in 2016.
That Lamb could perform so well in a district that overwhelmingly supported Trump and had sent a Republican to Congress without much contention for the better part of two decades signaled major challenges for the party as it seeks to maintain its congressional majorities in this year’s midterm elections.