Only a year and a half after Donald Trump rocked the political world, the tides of change could be blowing in once again. 2018 marks an important year for politicians around the country as the Congressional elections get underway. Before these elections take center stage, a special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District will be all the political scene is talking about. Conor Lamb, a surging young progressive, will take on establishment Republican Rick Saccone for a sea that has traditionally been deep red — but might suddenly be vulnerable.
Tim Murphy is the Republican that was forced to step down for the 18th Congressional Seat after an extramarital affair came to light in which he urged his partner to have an abortion, a big no-no in Pennsylvania for the Republican party. Now, Lamb is poised to strike and potentially take the seat. Lamb has to overcome quite the deficit in terms of spending as the Republican party is pouring millions of dollars into this campaign in support of Saccone. Fortunately, Lamb has already scored a huge endorsement from the political action committee End Citizens United. End Citizens United brings grassroots support to the politicians that they endorse in order to facilitate getting out the vote, spreading the message, and returning power back to the people.
In a conventional election year, the 18th District would be an easy win for Republicans but we are no longer in a conventional political year. The historic unfavorability rating of Donald Trump has swayed the nation and Democrats are surging all across the states. Democrats have already flipped 35 state-level seats since Trump took office while also winning a governorship and even a Senate seat in Alabama of all places. Murphy, the prior holder of the seat, even ran unopposed in his past two election years. Trump won the district in 2016 by 20 points over Clinton. All of these factors add up to what should be a fascinating special election to be held on March 13th.
The most important aspect of Lamb’s ascent has been his ability to bridge the gap between conservatives and progressives. Lamb is enough of a moderate that he has found bipartisan appeal across the aisle, bringing in rural voters and labor unions. Lamb’s endorsement from End Citizens United also shows that he is willing to fight for campaign finance reform, a platform that is absolutely integral to the progressive party at this point in time.