With 99% of results in, Connor Lamb leads Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone by just 641 votes in a district Trump won by 20 points and Romney won by 17 points.
We rated the race as “Likely Republican” and thought Saccone would win, despite the polls and the experts saying it was a toss-up. It turns out we were wrong. We underestimated how much of a good campaign Lamb was running.
Lamb portrayed himself as an anti-Pelosi, pro-life, and pro-gun centrist Democrat while Saccone was too boring, couldn’t raise enough money, and ran a bad campaign.
Lamb was nominated via convention, and it’s pretty unlikely that Democrats will nominate anti-Pelosi centrists in most swing districts, but the results of the PA-18 race were still terrifying for Republicans. There are over 100 Republicans sitting in districts less Republican than PA-18.
The good news is that Republicans have time, 8 months, to turn it around.