Saccone continued to not help himself Monday, claiming that the Democrats who back his opponent are "energized for hate for our president", adding that "many of them have a hatred for our country" and "a hatred for God". In 2016, Trump won the district by 20 points.
Lamb has dominated the fundraising battle against Saccone in the special election for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, which Republicans highlighted as a significant problem for their candidate.
A recent poll shows Lamb leading Saccone 51% to 45%, but other polls have the race even closer. Vice President Mike Pence, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump Jr. also have made cameos.
"Everyone's shit-talking this candidate, because he's a shit candidate.""But this is a local race, people are voting for either me or Rick Saccone I don't think it has anything to do with the president". But the right-wing media has remained largely unimpressed. Trump had appeared at a rally for Saccone over the weekend. Perhaps even more surprising: Breitbart has hardly touched Lamb, and the Drudge Report has barely dedicated space to the race at all, except to criticize Saccone's malaise. Internal Republican polling also found Saccone trailing narrowly, though picking up a little ground since the president's Saturday visit to the district. But the race is on his mind: The President asked about the race several times today as he traveled to California, one aide said, fearful that it "could be another Alabama". "I don't think this is really resonating that much in Trumpworld", said Kurt Schlichter, a frequent Fox News guest and Townhall columnist. "I said, 'I got $90".
Saccone has downplayed that polling, saying Monday that "everywhere I go, it's 100-to-1 for Rick Saccone".
Democratic congressional candidate Conor Lamb arrives to vote in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, March 13, 2018. This operative believes many PA-18 voters were unaware, for example, of Saccone's foreign policy background and the fact that he has authored nine books. "Everyone's shit-talking this candidate, because he's a shit candidate", Akbar said. "They can't stay fat and happy".
"If I came like a stiff, you guys wouldn't come here tonight", he said. You need to take off your jacket, roll up your sleeves. But with the party inclined to support the more pro-Trump candidate, Saccone - who told me over a year ago that he was Trump before Trump - was the obvious favorite.
Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said Tuesday's result served as a warning sign for the GOP come November even if Saccone retains the seat. "No amount of tweets or articles or Periscopes by [any Trump supporter in the media] is ever going to change that".More news: Hillary Clinton Stumbles Twice as She Tours Ancient Site in India
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"Look, there are more registered Democrats in the district than Republicans", she said. A Republican loss could lead to more House members retiring rather than running into headwinds in re-election bids. "And there were a large number of people who didn't care".
In the final weeks, Republicans pivoted away from that approach, attacking Lamb's record as a federal prosecutor and targeting Democratic voters to say that Lamb did not share their values on gun rights or the minimum wage. "They have it this time".
As for the 18th district, the one that's so hotly contested this week?
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court struck down the congressional map in January, determining that it violated the state's constitution. For the week of February 18, that dropped to 36 percent, and to 14 percent the week after.
And a win for Lamb on Tuesday would be huge.
Lamb, who did not have any events scheduled for Monday, has run a tight campaign created to portray himself as a centrist pro-gun, pro-tariff independent who is free of his party's influence. But the winner's tenure may be short.
At one point, he mocked the idea of being "presidential". The MAGA disciples I spoke to pushed back on this narrative, however. They're throwing everything they can at this race. "That couldn't be further from the truth".