Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Disruption new norm for White House

Disruption new norm for White House

Lamb cut a conservative Democratic figure and distanced himself from Pelosi.

Speaking to reporters, House Speaker Paul Ryan argued the minority party could not repeat the performance from moderate candidate Conor Lamb, whom he contended ran on a "conservative agenda".

Unless a federal court intervenes soon, that new electoral map with 18 districts based on new boundaries will await voters and candidates on the May 15 primary and the November 6 general election. She said the country has not seen the full "momentum" from the GOP tax law passed in December. "Everyone has known Obama-Trump districts and Romney-Clinton districts are places where Republicans would have trouble, but this race proved that they're losing voters even in Romney-Trump districts - and that's the best reminder for how deep and how wide the opportunities will be in the fall". Similarly, when Roy Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones, Trump was quick to point out that he (Trump) never believed Moore could win.

Saccone embraced the president's style, declaring at the outset of the race that he was, "Trump before Trump was Trump" - seemingly referring to the president's populist agenda.

If this was a statewide race the slim margin would trigger an automatic recount, since less than 0.5% separates Lamb and Saccone.

Republicans spent some $10 million to try and hold this district (that won't even exist in nine months due to the maps being redrawn by the state Supreme Court) and turn out their voters.

The GOP has cast its tax law and a strong economy as signature achievements to promote this year.

"The president's engagement in the race turned what was a deficit for the Republican candidate to what is essentially a tie", said Shah.

Former Republican Tim Murphy enjoyed union backing in the district, making it hard for any Democrat to defeat him.

Democratic strategists say Conor Lamb's upset victory in Pennsylvania this week shows that the party should run authentic candidates who fit their districts, rather than the national party line. In addition, Cook's Partisan Voter Index lists 17 open seats as more competitive than the Pennsylvania race.

A lot can happen between then and now, but by January of 2019, Saccone and Lamb could be in the same queue, both waiting to be sworn in to the 116th US Congress.

Back in Missouri, both Donald Trump and Josh Hawley are hoping that their association will help the Republicans gain the Senate seat held by Democrat Clair McCaskill. Their problem? "It's possible dozens of Democrats will seek to become their party's nominee in 2020, and Democratic strategists say none of them particularly stand out in terms of likability", writes The Hill's Amie Parnes. "If you're in a district like Conor Lamb's that is representing huge swaths of rural and suburban areas, I think you have to make a clear statement about your support - or lack thereof - of the current leader of the Democratic Party", said Schrader.

Publicly, Ryan was more upbeat, blaming the loss on Lamb's centrist views and praising Trump for narrowing the gap between the two candidates. He said he is also personally opposed to abortion, though he supports its legality. "We've got a great record".

Officials in Allegheny County, the most populous and Democratic-leaning county in the district, pushed back on Republican claims, saying the lawyers lacked written authorisation from Republicans and they had received no reports by Tuesday of malfunctioning voting machines. "Just tell people what you have in your heart and in your plan for them", she said.

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