Speed Reads

2018 elections

Voters in conservative Pennsylvania district go to the polls in a surprisingly tight special House election

Voters in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district go to the polls Tuesday to choose between Democrat Conor Lamb, a photogenic Marine veteran and former prosecutor, and Republican state lawmaker Rick Saccone. The district went for President Trump by 20 points in 2016. Trump has campaigned with Saccone twice, and Donald Trump Jr. toured a candy factory with him on Monday. Still, a Monmouth poll released Monday had Lamb, 33, with a slight lead over Saccone, 60. The seat was vacated when former Rep. Tim Murphy (R) resigned over a scandal involving a mistress he reportedly asked to get an abortion.

Republicans have poured more than $10 million into the race, mostly on attack ads against Lamb, while Lamb has raised about $4 million, mostly from small donations. GOP operatives have openly disparaged Saccone as a lackluster campaigner and poor fundraiser, but a loss in Trump country would shake up Republicans hoping to hold on to control of the House next year. Whoever wins will serve out the rest of Murphy's term, but the district will be completely different in November's election due to a new congressional map issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.