Voters in southwestern Pennsylvania go to the polls to choose a replacement for resigned Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pittsburgh). Late polling gives Democrat Conor Lamb a slight advantage over Republican Rick Saccone heading into the election – the latest poll, from Monmouth University (3/8-11; 372 PA-18 likely voters) gives Lamb an advantage between two and seven points under various turnout models that would account for a surge in Democratic turnout. A combined spending total approaching $15 million will likely be recorded for the special election.
The winner and loser will have a major immediate decision to make since the current 18th District radically changes for the regular election. Candidate filing under the new district lines occurs just one week after this election. If Mr. Saccone wins, he has already committed to running in new district 14 under the recently instituted Pennsylvania state Supreme Court map. According to Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pittsburgh), who commented soon after the new boundaries were adopted, Mr. Lamb, win or lose, will challenge Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Sewickley) in the new 17th District. The 14th CD is heavily Republican, while the new 17th is a swing district much more favorable to a Democratic candidate.
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