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CARNEGIE, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Voters in western Pennsylvania are set to choose between Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb in a special congressional election that could offer signs of what’s to come in November’s midterm elections.
Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
To many, this isn’t just a race – it’s a temperature check for how voters feel 14 months into President Donald Trump’s term
“I’m a Republican and I think President Trump needs more Republicans that back his plans for the country,” Brett Gelb said.
Gelb voted for Saccone because he wants representatives loyal to the president he elected. But, he’ll be happy to see the race over.
“Yes, the phone calls and the mailings and the people coming to my house and the radio,” he said.
Anita Radin donned her Conor Lamb pin as she voted this morning. She’s voting Democrat to try to “take back control.”
“I feel, as a Conor Lamb supporter, we need to get in there and change the vote and just make sure that we take over the House. It’s very important to us,” Radin said.
Lamb agrees with Radin.
“We worked really hard for it and I think it paid off,” he said.
Three recent polls give Lamb a slight lead in the race. The latest poll from Monmouth University shows Lamb with a slightly wider lead over Saccone, if there’s a surge in Democratic voter turnout.
“I think it says a lot about Democratic enthusiasm. Around here, people are really excited for this race and I’m happy for them that their voices are going to be heard,” Lamb said.
President Donald Trump dominated the district in 2016 and has offered his backing to Saccone. Trump, who made a local appearance on Saturday on behalf of Saccone’s candidacy, carried the 18th Congressional District in 2016 by 19 points.
Saccone hopes Republicans turn up big for today’s special election. He declined to speak with reporters after voting in McKeesport.
Saccone finds himself risking an upset that would rattle GOP confidence as it tries to defend its House majority. The White House has blamed the potential loss on Saccone.
Lamb has positioned himself as a moderate and could offer a roadmap for other Democratic candidates running in areas outside liberal strongholds.
Lamb’s staffers were working the telephones Monday night in Carnegie in the more traditional way that campaigns reach out to the electorate. His staff said the candidate himself held no public events Monday and scheduled no media availability.
They said he was going door-to-door, trying to meet as many voters as possible.
Meanwhile, Saccone’s volunteers and campaign staffers were also working the phones on Election Eve at his Southpointe Headquarters in Washington County. A few hours earlier, Saccone was joined by Donald Trump, Jr. at a campaign stop in Canonsburg.
The winner replaces Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned in October amid a sex scandal.
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