By Ed Craig, Main Street Examiner
Election night in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District special election is over and the candidates are separated by just .2% of the vote. The vote counting will continue and both sides believe they have won.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Ben Ray Luján congratulated the Democratic Party candidate, Conor Lamb, on their “incredible victory.”
“I want to congratulate Conor Lamb and his team of grassroots supporters on an incredible victory,” Lujan said. “I’m excited to have Conor as a colleague and look forward to working with him on the critical issues facing our country.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) sent out their own statement claiming that when the votes were counted, their candidate, Rick Saccone will be the newest member of Congress.
“This race is too close to call and we’re ready to ensure that every legal vote is counted. Once they are, we’re confident Rick Saccone will be the newest Republican member of Congress,” said NRCC Communications Director Matt Gorman.
Conor Lamb (D) leads Rick Saccone (R) 49.8% to 49.6%. Libertarian Drew Miller pulled in .6% of the vote.
Something both sides left out of their statements is that while 100% of the precincts have reported, not all the votes have been tallied. None of the four counties have counted their provisional ballots yet. More importantly, Greene and Washington County ballots had not been counted at the time the dueling press statements were released. Both counties went heavily to Saccone so the absentee ballots are likely to as well. The difference between the two candidates is just 579 votes as of the publication of this article.
Even if Saccone wins, Democrats can claim a win as they made a race close that should never have been. Running a Democrat that firmly separated himself from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the progressive agenda pulled in the moderates in Western Pennsylvania. The GOP ran a weak candidate and an even weaker campaign.
If Lamb pulls out a victory it will surely be touted as proof that a “blue wave” is sweeping the country and it may indicate that Democrats up for election will seek to distance themselves from Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Republican candidates may take more centrist positions as well to avoid another reign of Chuck and Nancy.
The moderate middle may be the key to the 2018 midterm elections.