Lamb took in around $3.3 million during this period, compared to about $700,000 for Saccone. It would follow Democratic victories previous year in a special Senate election in solidly Republican Alabama, as well as wins in Virginia, New Jersey and a handful of state races in other parts of the country. Polling conducted in the final days of the race suggest Lamb is the slight favorite to pull off an upset that would carry with it massive national implications.
Kopko said the makeup of the district, which includes the fringes of Pittsburgh and parts of Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties, favors Republicans - and especially those of the Trumpian variety. Our conversation, conducted via email and lightly edited for flow, is below.
All of this has combined to make this a close race. No one agrees why. The latest polling shows Lamb leading Saccone by 6 points in the Pittsburgh-area district, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE won by almost 20 points in 2016.
But it's hard for the GOP to cast Lamb as a liberal who's out of step with voters in the district.
"I hate to put this pressure on you, Rick, but the world is watching, because I won this district", Trump said. "The Trump voters have to get out and vote".
Cillizza: Where did Lamb come from?
Outside his office in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Democratic State Rep. Dan Miller told me "Conor [Lamb] is from right here - in fact, he lives in his grandparents' home right down the street".
In short, Lamb has politics in his blood.
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They would win a penalty to kick for touch before Paula Dranisinukula sneaked on the short side to score their fifth and last try. Earlier in the day, Fiji edged South Africa 15-12 and Kenya beat the U.S. 24-19 in the semi-finals.
Nation-wide focus on the district began with Rep. Tim Murphy's (R-Upper St. Clair) resignation after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that he asked a woman he was having an affair with to get an abortion, despite his anti-abortion policies. Saccone is also a former Air Force Officer and civilian employee with the U.S. Army in Iraq, and highlights a diplomatic mission to North Korea in the early 2000s as one of the high points of his career. Were there other possible candidates who could have been a better fit?
Democrats must flip 24 GOP-held seats to reclaim a House majority, and no one was counting on this Pittsburgh-area district that Trump won by 20 percentage points in the presidential race to be in play. Guy Reschenthaler, 74 for Saccone, and 66 for state Sen. And largely from outside GOP groups supporting Saccone.
Ironically, Reschenthaler would have looked a lot more like Lamb.
We seem to have gone beyond candidates graciously acknowledging "the voice of the people" to those who can't stand to hear from anyone who disagrees with them. In addition to anemic fundraising, Saccone hired a political strategist of whom the party and White House did not approve. Privately, some Republican insiders say if the party had picked Reschenthaler, Lamb would have had no shot at winning.
Lamb has a run as a moderate with considerable union backing. But I don't see yet that the national Republican efforts to link Lamb to Pelosi is working.
Seemingly embracing the attacks, Lamb cut an ad calling it all "a big lie" since he'd already declared he wouldn't support Pelosi as floor leader, much less a return to the speaker's rostrum. Of course, if he loses, the Pelosi connection will be validated in the eyes of some.
"I thought his behavior as we saw on the Access Hollywood tape was deplorable", Clinton said of Trump just after the election. On Tuesday he voted for Lamb. Both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have joined him on the campaign trail; Trump has visited the district twice.
Of course, the President and Republicans will blame Saccone for the loss and distance themselves from the campaign. Saccone raised US$918,000 through February 21 compared with US$3.9 million for Lamb, Federal Election Commission reports show. But if Saccone wins, I suspect we will hear something different.
The contest is drawing so much national attention because of its potential to preview a change in the political landscape in the upcoming midterm elections. Lamb told the Weekly Standard he doesn't support a ban on abortion at 20 weeks. We will know shortly if that is enough to win.