2018 Midterm Madness: Conor Lamb, The Democratic Dream Marine In PA's 18th

stoled via Insta @conorlamb_pa

Pennsylvania's 18th will be the first test of the magical blue wave that that's supposed to roll down fly-over country in 2018. Pitting Democratic dreamboat Conor Lamb against the schlubby Rick Saccone, this is one of those races where a Democrat could squeak by, if they fight for every vote.

Encompassing bits of suburban Pittsburgh, this is rural Pennsyltucky. The 18th has remained solidly Republican since the GOP gerrymandered the crap out of the map in 2012. While the state Supreme Court told lawmakers to redraw the map, this special election will held on March 13th, before new districts can be drawn and implemented.

Trump won the majority white and blue-collar 18th in 2016 by a fuckall margin, but the district was forced into a special election when anti-abortion whackjob Rep. Tim Murphy knocked up his mistress and told her to flush babby. Recent polling shows Lamb within 3 points of Saccone, a dramatic shift from another poll from a few weeks earlier.

The 59-year-old Saccone jumped on the Trump Train before anybody even bothered to ask, proudly declaring that he was, "Trump before Trump was Trump," but as a religious nut he's more dense than Mike Pence. A ret. Air Force vet with a Phd. who boasts about living in North Korea, Saccone has spent the better part of his political career as a state Rep. beating his Bible. In 2012 he tried to declare "The Year of the Bible," and he's twice tried to put "In God We Trust" in big, bold, unfriendly letters in public schools. As an anti-union gunfetishist, Saccone bitches about government spending yet bills tax payers for fancy dinners more than most of his colleagues. Before Saccone started ripping off the taxpayers whom he told needed a lot of "belt-tightening," Saccone was an "interrogation consultant" at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and remains a vocal advocate for "enhanced interrogation."

In the blue corner is 33-year-old Conor Lamb, a Marine veteran and former US attorney. Lamb built his career prosecuting rape and sexual assault while stationed in Okinawa, then came home to fight opiate abuse, heroin dealers and violent crime. Despite coming from a prominent local political family, Lamb has shunned the establishment spotlight, instead running on issues like opiate addiction, job training, infrastructure investment, healthcare, student debt, and support for unions. Since this is the rurals, progressives will undoubtedly balk at his anti-abortion and pro-gun positions, but they aren't the voters who live in the middle of fucking nowhere.


Lamb makes it clear that he's "not running against the president" in his stump speeches, but that hasn't stopped a flood of cash and attack ads that all but call him the bastard son of Nancy Pelosi and George Soros. The DCCC just dropped a bunch of cash for Lamb's own attack ads, but he's largely ran a positive campaign. Despite personal pitstops by Trump, and Mike Pence to shit talk and scrounge up money for Saccone, Lamb is actually raking in donations.

Saccone surrounds himself with dirty old men and whatever the fuck Mike Pence is, Lamb is gaining the support of swing voters who are fed up with being screwed over. Lamb has a real shot at snatching this seat, but his biggest challenge might be Democratic hardliners who like to forget that fly-over country sees the the American Dream withering on life support, and they also tend to vote for the person who plops down at the corner bar, grabs a cheap beer and a whiskey, and shoots the breeze.

[ WaPo / The Intercept / Ballotpedia / NBC News / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / ]

Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.


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