Dear Commons Community,
All the news media last night were focused on the special election being held to fill a vacated seat in the 18th Congressional District. The previous eight-term incumbent Republican Tim Murphy resigned under pressure in October. As reported by the New York Times:
“The Democrat and Republican in a special House election in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Trump country were divided by a few hundred votes in a race that was too close to call early Wednesday — an ominous sign for Republicans in a district that Donald J. Trump won by nearly 20 percentage points.
With 100 percent of votes counted, Conor Lamb, a Democrat, was clinging to a 579-vote lead over Rick Saccone, a Republican. But a few thousand absentee ballots had not yet been counted, suggesting that no winner would be declared until later today, at the earliest. And it was possible that a legal battle could ensue.
Taking the stage to applause at 12:45 a.m., Mr. Lamb was introduced as “Congressman-elect” and exulted, “It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it!”
House Democrats also did not wait for a final count to claim victory, and House Republicans were already talking about a legal challenge. Under Pennsylvania law, there is no automatic recount in such a race, no matter how close.
But no matter the final outcome, Mr. Lamb’s strong showing demonstrated that the Trump-inspired energy propelling Democrats across the country is not confined to liberal-leaning regions. Republicans were left with the prospect of defending a far broader range of districts this fall than they had hoped.”
Republicans will be scratching their heads today trying to figure out how they will keep the U.S. House of Representatives in this fall’s midterm elections.