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President Trump tweets for GOP candidate, Dem votes in PA

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Conor Lamb and Rick Saccone

Internal Republican polling also found Saccone trailing narrowly, though picking up a little ground since the president's Saturday visit to the district.

The most money spent on a special House race - or any House race - was $55 million a year ago in suburban Atlanta, in Democrats' failed effort to take a GOP-held seat.

A Lamb victory could accelerate his arguments in other districts and further worry Republicans about their plans to run unapologetically on the tax law.

It's not hard to imagine that Saccone heard a lot of Democrats saying they "hate" the president. "I've talked to many of these on the left".

Lamb, a former Marine and prosecutor, has sought to burnish his credentials as a moderate, just the sort of Democrat who can win in a district that President Donald Trump won by almost 20 percentage points in 2016.

Lamb acknowledges the intense opposition to Trump among liberal voters but says the election shouldn't be about Trump.

Today is the special election to fill the vacant 18 Congressional District seat in southwestern Pennsylvania.

So, Clinton describes Trump voters as backward, bigoted, racist and misogynistic and the 52 percent of the white female voters who supported him as timid housewives cowed by the men in their lives.

Lamb has argued he would work with both parties for the betterment of the district. Statewide in Pennsylvania, a state Trump narrowly won in 2016, his approval rating is now just 42 percent, according to the Gallup poll.

But unions have lined up behind Lamb and hammered Saccone as a union foe during his tenure as a state lawmaker.

"Regardless of who wins the special House election in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the Democratic candidate, Conor Lamb, has already accomplished something impressive by showing that his party ought to contest every election - no matter how daunting the odds", the Times's editorial board wrote.

"They've gerrymandered this worse than the gerrymandering they were complaining about", Saccone said.

Saccone spoke to reporters shortly before casting his ballot Tuesday near his home in rural Allegheny County south of Pittsburgh. Murphy resigned in October.

Trump Jr. admitted they can not use his father's new slogan for 2020, "Keep America Great", which he unveiled in a rally in Pittsburgh Saturday night, if his voters become complacent.

A Lamb upset would boost Democrats ahead of the November midterm elections. If the Republican candidate in the Pennsylvania race reflected moderate views relative to the traditional rhetoric of the right - that candidate would be a threat.

Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone attends a campaign event in Elizabeth Township, Pennsylvania, March 12.

On Tuesday, the president tweeted, "The Economy is raging, at an all time high, and is set to get even better". Jobs and wages up. The Rick Saccone campaign was a joke. "But this is a local race, people are voting for either me or Rick Saccone I don't think it has anything to do with the president".

As to why no Democrat challenged US Rep. Tim Murphy in 2014 and 2016, that's easy.

Labor is looking to Lamb to score big with that group and offer the movement signs of a comeback that could sway key Senate and governor's races this fall.

Democrats need to flip 24 Republican-held seats for a House majority, and they'd not been counting on Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District. Saccone is a former counter-intelligence officer in the Air Force, has a doctorate and was a professor at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, teaching political science and other courses, and still teaches there part-time. He supports expanding fracking to extract natural gas and has distanced himself from House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which has raised $114.8 million in the 2018 election cycle and was sending out fundraising emails on behalf of Lamb as late as Monday afternoon, reported just $312,500 in outside spending on the race, whereas the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spent over $3.5 million.

Polls in the district are open from 7 a.m.to 8 p.m. EDT.

Yet Saccone struggled to raise money and stir the same passions that helped Trump sweep the industrial Midwest on his way to the White House.

The victor replaces Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned in October amid a sex scandal.

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