ANXIETY IN PENNSYLVANIA
GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Fighting to stave off another special election embarrassment, the White House is strengthening its final-days offensive in western Pennsylvania.
President Donald Trump has long been scheduled to rally voters on Saturday behind Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone, a state representative whose underwhelming campaign has some Washington-based Republicans fearing the worst. It will be the president's second visit to the district on Saccone's behalf. Daughter Ivanka Trump appeared with Saccone in a separate visit last month as well and praised him as "a champion" for Republican priorities.
The national GOP confirmed late Wednesday that Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway would visit the region on Thursday and the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., would campaign for Saconne on Monday, the eve of the election.
The high-profile reinforcements from the president's orbit were welcomed by Saccone, who has wholeheartedly embraced Trump in his message to Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, a region that extends from the Pittsburgh suburbs to West Virginia that Trump carried by nearly 20 percentage points in 2016. With the election just days away, polls suggest that Saccone is essentially tied with Democrat Conor Lamb, a Marine and former federal prosecutor who has never before run for office.
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned on Lamb's behalf earlier in the week, but national Democrats were not expected to bring in additional high-profile surrogates in the campaign's waning days.
"We've got Donald Trump. We've got his son. We've had Ivanka. What does the other side have? They've have crazy uncle Joe Biden," Saccone told two dozen supporters gathered in a Greensburg campaign office on Wednesday.
"Everybody wants to help," the Republican candidate continued. "It's like President Trump with winning — there's so much help we're going to get tired of help."
The White House is not taking any chances in the latest Trump-era special election, knowing that the result will inevitably reflect upon the president.
Democrats have over-performed in virtually every contest across the country since Trump took the White House. And the sting of the GOP's embarrassing December defeat in Alabama's special Senate race, in which Trump lent his name and time to failed Republican nominee Roy Moore, is still fresh.Read More...