President Donald Trump plans to visit a red district next Thursday in Pennsylvania in hopes to lock down the first special election in 2018.
The election is set to replace former GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, who stepped down in October following allegations that he pressured a woman with whom he was having an affair to have an abortion.
Murphy won the election unopposed by Democrats in 2014 and in 2016, but Trump’s White House is becoming more and more involved in the race after Republican candidate Rick Saccone posted disappointing fundraising numbers, according to Politico.
The special election was a topic of conversation at the president’s meeting with congressional leaders at Camp David last week, and White House political director is getting regular updates from the local campaign. Vice President Mike Pence is also scheduled to make at least one appearance in the race ahead of the March 13 election date.
Another top concern is that Democratic candidate Conor Lamb fits a very attractive profile for a candidate. He’s an Ivy league graduate, attorney and Marine Corps veteran, a stunning combination that some insiders are worried will tip the scales in favor of Democrats.
“I hope that doesn’t happen in southwestern Pennsylvania because that’s a Trump district and the outcome there could have repercussions for the midterms more broadly,” Rep. Charlie Dent told Politico about the concerns.
Trump won the state of Pennsylvania in the 2016 presidential elections, and the race remains rated as a “safe Republican” seat by Decision Desk HQ, and a “likely Republican” seat by the Crystal Ball. The Cook Political Report rated the race as “leans Republican.”
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