Posted: 8:38 am Sunday, March 11th, 2018
By Jamie Dupree
With Republicans already concerned about the 2018 mid-term elections in Congress, President Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday night outside Pittsburgh represented one final GOP push to win a special election for a U.S. House seat, in a district that went easily for Mr. Trump in 2016, as Democrats look to spin an election upset on Tuesday night.
“I don’t think President Trump hurt Rick Saccone’s chances tonight, but I’m not sure he helped,” said Nathan Gonzales, an expert on Congressional elections, on Twitter.
The rally in Moon Township, Pennsylvania was classic Candidate Trump from the 2016 campaign – over an hour long, a raucous crowd, tales from his victorious Election Night, complaints about the news media, more than enough zingers to keep his supporters cheering – but there are definitely GOP worries about whether he can help carry Republican Rick Saccone across the finish line.
More than an hour into the rally, President Trump brings Rick Saccone on stage, saying the GOP special election candidate is "a really good person" https://t.co/E5WzhQXh3M
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 11, 2018
“This guy should win easily,” the President said with famiilar Presidential confidence, though the polls have shown anything but that in the Keystone State.
Saccone, a GOP state legislator, is running neck-and-neck with a novice to politics, Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, who served in the Marines.
The district in Western Pennsylvania should be exactly where Mr. Trump would be the strongest, covering the suburbs and rural areas to the south of Pittsburgh.
But so far, Saccone – even being a big supporter of the President – has not been able to close the deal.
“This guy should win easily,” Trump says of House candidate Rick Saccone.
Saccone, his voice hoarse and scratchy, shouts: “Let’s close this deal!” pic.twitter.com/rlaEymiq4Y
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 11, 2018
Trump won PA-18 by 20. He won Alabama by nearly 30. These rallies really shouldn't be necessary… but here we are…
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) March 11, 2018
This seat came open after the resignation of Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), who was hit with problems in his marriage and his office; Democrats would have had little chance against him, but the playing field is now much different.
At the Saturday night event, the President gave one bit of news to the crowd, as he unveiled his 2020 re-election slogan.
“We can’t say ‘Make America Great Again,’ because I already did that,” the President said.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 11, 2018
On Tuesday night, the voters will render a verdict on that – at least for this one U.S. House seat.