Tim Murphy, the incumbent, had established a commensurate pro-life rating, but was caught cheating on his wife and then induced his mistress to abort the child that he had fathered. Such behavior is unacceptable.
He resigned last year, which was fitting, to say the least. It is worth noting, however, that no one had to pressure him at length to resign, while US Senator Al Franken stalled for months after vividly offensive photos revealed that he had groped a female newscaster, which followed with other women speaking out against him.
Now the PA-18 district is wide open, and Democrats are expanding their strategy to take back the House of Representatives by flipping this district from red to blue. Democrats have already racked up unsettling victories in state and local races all over the country. Their luck in Congressional races has stalled, however.
It very likely may stall again, especially since Democrats have stopped spending money in the race.
National Democrats aren't committing to pour additional resources into a closely watched Pennsylvania special election, even though the latest poll shows the party within striking distance.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has spent a little over $300,000 to boost Democrat Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania's 18th District. But since then, the House Democrats' campaign arm has remained on the sidelines while Republican groups continue their barrage of attack ads.
$300k is a drop in the bucket, especially compared to the unprecedented amounts of money raised by teh Republican National Committee. Republicans nationally and statewide are bringing in unprecedented amounts of cash, and they are not holding back from spending, desperate to send the message that they deserve another term of holding onto power in both chambers of Congress.
Who is running to replace Murphy, anyway?
Republican groups have spent close to $5 million in an effort to boost state Rep. Rick Saccone (R), who was outraised 2-to-1 by Lamb in the last few months of 2017, in the red district.
|Rick Saccone vs. Connor Lamb|
DCCC chairman Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) told reporters that the committee is keeping close tabs on the March 13 race, but argued that Lamb has enough resources to compete against ads from GOP super PACs and the House GOP's campaign arm.
No he doesn't. Republicans are savaging this Democrat hard. Furthermore, Lamb has alienated the left-wing base of the party by signalling his opposition to further gun control. Democrats need to show themselves as centrist enough to bring back working-class voters who abandoned them in 2016, enough that they lost key Rust Belt states which they had dominated for three decades.
"I think the strength of Conor Lamb's campaign has Republicans worried. Otherwise Republicans would not be spending millions and millions of dollars in a race that Donald Trump won by 19 points."
Republicans should be concerned. Rabid Democrats are outraged as ever, and want to do everything they can to slow down President Trump's momentum. The liberal media still has a hold on the mind and opinions of everyday Americans, but even then their propaganda power is not working anymore.
Republicans need to be vigilant as ever to ensure that every available, winnable House seat stays in Republican hands.
Top Democrats have been criticized in the past for a reluctance to spend money in other special elections. While the DCCC focused heavily on boosting Democrat Jon Ossoff in the nationally watched race in Georgia, candidates running in special elections in Kansas and Montana got less financial help.
Those two state special elections were so out of reach for the Democrats, and Montana especially. Pennsylvania is a more meaningful target for Democrats in large part because they need to win Rust Belt state voters to have a chance of getting the White House back in 2020 or 2024.
It's worth repeating, however, that the Democratic National Committee has no money. They are further in debt than they ever have been. They can't generate enthusiasm or command trust, especially since they repeatedly tipped their hand in favor of Hillary Clinton throughout the primary, who was one of the worst candidates they could have promoted. The runner-up in 2016 was a life-long Independent socialist who became a Democrat for the sake of depending on an infrastructure.
He still lost.
For Pennsylvania's 18th district, some strategists believe that Lamb can stand on his own without additional help from national Democrats. Distance from the national party could even prove beneficial, since Republicans are eager to tie him to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), despite Lamb's commitment to vote against a Pelosi leadership bid if elected.
House Minority Leader is a major liability, representing the most left-wing district in the country. She has access to big money, but her negative pall on Democratic candidates throughout the country is dragging down Congressional chances. In the Jon Ossoff-Karen Handel contest last year, the searing campaign ads repeatedly tied Ossoff to Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco left-wing insanity.
That was pretty much all it took, and $50 million from California Hollywood and Silicon Valley types couldn't change that perception.
"Help from the national party is a double-edged sword," said Mark Nevins, a Democratic strategist in Philadelphia. "It's helpful to have additional resources. But on the other hand, it comes with all of the baggage that national parties carry with them."
YES! Incidentally, Congressional Republicans have a positive marker now, specifically because of the winning results of tax reform, which every Democrat voted against.
Here is the one poll Republicans need to be concerned about, and it's more than the difference between the Republican and the Democratic candidate:
The poll also found that Democrats appear more enthusiastic about the special election, a significant statistic in a race where turnout will likely be critical. Nearly 50 percent of Democratic voters told pollsters they are following the race, while just 26 percent of Republicans felt the same way.
The enthusiasm gap is worrying GOP operatives. Republicans want to see movement on President Trump's agenda, and the US Senate--mostly Democrats, but also pro-Chamber of Commerce Republicans--are stalling these efforts.
Not good--and they still need to repeal Obamacare!
"Saccone has a slight edge, but it's nowhere near the double-digit advantage Republicans typically enjoy in this district. The potential for a Democratic surge like we have seen in other special elections helps Lamb stay in the hunt but it does not close the gap entirely," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Let's keep in mind that individual Congressional candidates are not President Trump. His candidacy had coattails. His presidency does not. Republican candidates down-ballot need to accept this fact.
This is a must-win for both sides, and that's why the money is rolling into the district. This district and this state will be a fundamental battleground going into 2020, as well. Democrats must either get working-class voters on their side again, or they better kiss their long-term prospects goodbye.
The point worth noting, however, is that Democrats don't have the money prowess they used to have. The Janus decision later this year out of the Supreme Court--if favorable to individual liberty and worker freedom--will further shut off the money supply which Democrats have relied on for the last twenty years.
For now, it's worth indicating that Democrats are more likely pulling out of the race because they do not have the money. Of course the DNC Propaganda Wing, aka the mainstream media, won't make any point about that, now, will they?!