In a devastating blow to the president and his party, Democrats have scored yet another victory in a deep-red district that Trump took in 2016 in a congressional race that saw a staggering $11.7 million spent on ads.
Democrat Conor Lamb, a former prosecutor and U.S. Marine, has defeated his Republican challenger, Rick Saccone, in today’s race to represent Pennsylvania’s Congressional District 18, flipping the Republican seat – held for nearly two decades – to Democratic control by a razor thin margin.
“It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. You did it,” Lamb announced at his election night party. “We followed what I learned in the Marines — leave no one behind. We went everywhere, we talked to everyone, we invited everyone in.”
Because this is a district race and not statewide, there is no mandatory recount, per the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. The election board was forced to count absentee ballots, from which point Lamb’s victory was secured.
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Trump won the 18th Congressional District by a 20-point margin in 2016. In total, from November 2016 to today, Democrats have earned an impressive 20-point swing to the left.
The seat was previously filled by former Republican Representative Tim Murphy. While campaigning for Saccone last week, Trump slammed Lamb’s position on abortion, seemingly overlooking the fact that the Democrat is running to fill a seat vacated by a “family values” Republican who resigned after reports that he encouraged a woman, with whom he had an affair, to get an abortion.
Murphy took his seat in the least two elections unopposed.
Tonight’s victory is only the latest in a wave of stunning Democratic success stories around the country. Thus far, Democrats have unseated Republicans in a vast number of what were thought to be unwinnable races. Aside from flipping New Jersey’s and winning Virginia’s gubernatorial races, Democrats also earned a historic victory electing Doug Jones to the Alabama Senate, the first time that a Democrat has won in that state in a quarter century.
Democrats have also picked up a slew of seats in other races around the country.
Since Trump’s inauguration, Democrats have flipped 39 seats from red to blue. Republicans have only flipped three. In total, Democrats have seen flipped seats in 13 states: Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin, Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, Connecticut, and now Pennsylvania. Even in the most solidly red districts, Democrats are overperforming Trump’s numbers by double digits.
As the Trump administration and its Republican enablers in Congress continue their assault on the will of the American people – from healthcare to tax cuts for the rich to net neutrality to immigration to gun reform – voters across the country are delivering a serious message to the White House, one race at a time.
While Republicans insist upon implementing their disastrously unpopular agenda, the American public is finally putting its foot down– and it’s crippling the party in nearly every race around the nation.