When the nation's political class tunes in to Tuesday's hotly contested special congressional election race in Pennsylvania, one MA man will be particularly invested in the result: Representative Seth Moulton.
Saccone's heated rhetoric was overshadowed by a newly released poll indicating his opponent, Democrat Conor Lamb, was leading by a wide margin.
"With all the millions the've spent, they're not anywhere near where they thought they'd be".
Saccone's struggles, especially on the fundraising front, and eventual loss show that Trump's unpopularity is pulling down his party, while enraging and engaging Democrats. In essence, Kimball said, the race is a toss-up and could go either way.
Outside money has played less of a role on Lamb's behalf. "He has helped me in this campaign from the very beginning".
Trump Jr.'s message to voters, delivered the day before the Tuesday special election between Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb in the 18th District, mirrored the one his father delivered in a Pittsburgh International Airport hangar Saturday - the administration needs Republicans in Congress to support the president's agenda.
When asked he thought about Saccone, Trump gave what seemed like a clearly rehearsed speech about how the candidate will support his father's initiatives and fight for America, boasting that the GOP tax reform had apparently allowed the candies company to add new jobs. Liberals' fury at President Trump is so strong that even in a blue-collar district he won by 20 points his support for Saccone is a two-edged sword.
Asked about Republican criticism of Saccone's campaign, Trump told reporters, "God knows, if it's going to make it hard for Trump, the media's going to be all over it". "That's why they call them special", former Trump campaign adviser Ed Brooker said, reflecting the mood of Trump's political circle on the eve of the election. A higher-turnout scenario, more similar to a presidential election, produces a 7-point Lamb lead, 51 percent to 44 percent.
"The incredible Republican spending is going to have an effect, even though Lamb has been smart in not letting the race get nationalized like we saw in the special congressional election in Atlanta a year ago".
Still, Democrats want to use the race as another way to needle Trump.
Tuesday's election is being watched as a potential harbinger for November's congressional elections. And the race couldn't be tighter, a warning sign for the GOP no matter who wins given the deeply populist-conservative nature of Pittsburgh's suburbs and exurbs. "It's clear people want an alternative to Trump".
Why is the Pennsylvania special election getting so much attention?
Democrats swept to victory in governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey, and Senator Doug Jones surprised Republican candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election race in December 2017.
"I think we need to keep the country going in the direction it's going in", said Johnson, a Trump-supporting union member who works in manufacturing. He has called for new leadership in both parties and said he would oppose Nancy Pelosi as leader.
What are Conor Lamb's positions?
He has been considered by some to be a test case of Moulton's brand of antiestablishment rhetoric.
Frank Snyder, general secretary of Pennsylvania's AFL-CIO, challenged reporters at Lamb's Sunday rally to follow the rental cars of Republican operatives who have come to the district to turn out voters. Vice President Joe Biden, who was born in Scranton, has campaigned with him.
Monmouth's poll last month projected Saccone in the lead.
If the rest of the 2016 Clinton-Trump modeling performance stayed the same and if, for example, Lamb was able to bring out his own wave of Democratic voters and increase the number of votes in the most heavily Democratic precincts so those areas made up 10 percentage points more of total vote as compared to in 2016, that still would only get him within 15 percent of Republican Rick Saccone in the special election. The president himself appeared with Saccone in early February, and then returned to the district Saturday night for one of his patented "campaign rallies". "Let me tell you, they're energized for hate for our president".
If he loses, it could foreshadow what is already expected to be a hard midterm election cycle for Republicans.
Lamb leads Saccone, 51 percent to 45 percent, the poll shows - using a turnout model that mirrors a Democratic surge that's appeared in other special elections throughout the previous year.
TRUMP: Regulation, tax cuts, federal judges, a great, great Supreme Court. McDaniel also demeaned Lamb as a Republican in disguise.
Trump said the United States has been running huge trade deficits, and that a lot of things have to be set straight. Democratic groups spent only $855,591.