In warning for Trump, Democrat claims too-close-to-call Pennsylvania vote

From Reuters - March 14, 2018

CANONSBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - The Democrat candidate claimed a congressional election in a Republican heartland in Pennsylvania, as a vote seen as a referendum on Donald Trumps performance as president remained officially too close to call early on Wednesday.

In an ominous sign for Republicans eight months before national midterm elections, official results with all ballots from voting booths counted showed moderate Democrat Conor Lamb leading conservative Republican Rick Saccone by a fraction of a percentage point.

Trump won the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District that they are contesting by almost 20 points in the 2016 presidential election.

With TV networks, which often call U.S. elections, yet to predict a winner, officials were continuing to count several hundred absentee ballots to try to determine the result.

Democratic sources said that, once those ballots were included, they expected Lamb to have won the election by more than 400 votes.

It took a little longer than we thought but we did it. You did it, Lamb, a U.S. Marines veteran, told cheering supporters late on Tuesday.

Speaking before Lamb claimed victory, Saccone - who has described himself as Trump before Trump was Trump - said the contest was not yet over.

Were going to fight all the way to the end. You know I never give up, the 60-year-old state told supporters.


The strong showing by Lamb, 33, seems certain to buoy Democrats nationally as they seek to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Republicans in the November elections.

Republican dominance had been so strong in the district, a patchwork of small towns, farms and Pittsburgh suburbs, that Democrats ran no candidates in the previous two U.S. House elections here. Lambs image as a moderate seemed to have worked in his favor.

Saccone led the race by more than 10 percentage points in January.

But Lamb, a pro-gun Democrat with strong backing from unions, surged in polls as Democratic voters sensed a chance to show their opposition to Trump.



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