CARNEGIE, Pa. (AP) — Polls are open in western Pennsylvania as voters settle a high profile special congressional race being watched for clues to the upcoming midterm elections.
Republican Rick Saccone is trying to stave off an upset by Democrat Conor Lamb in a Pittsburgh-area district that backed President Donald Trump by 20 percentage points in 2016.
Former Republican Rep. Tim Murphy had represented the area. He resigned last fall.
Democrats need to flip 24 Republican-held seats for a House majority, and they’d not been counting on Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.
Trump has put his full force behind Saccone.
Lamb has a run as a moderate with considerable union backing. That’s a key group in this industrial region. Lamb has also promised not to back Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for House speaker.
Voters in western Pennsylvania are set to choose between Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb in a special congressional election that could offer signs of what’s to come in November’s midterm elections.
Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
President Donald Trump dominated the district in 2016 and has offered his backing to Saccone.
But the Republican nominee finds himself risking an upset that would rattle GOP confidence as it tries to defend its House majority. The White House has blamed the potential loss on Saccone.
Lamb has positioned himself as a moderate and could offer a roadmap for other Democratic candidates running in areas outside liberal strongholds.
The winner replaces Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned in October amid a sex scandal.