Democrat’s Strong Performance in Pennsylvania Shakes Trump along with G.O.P.

Whether Mr. Lamb holds on to win the House seat matters less than the fact that will he was so competitive inside first place. The rebuke of Mr. Trump came by a part of western Pennsylvania that will overwhelmingly supported him in 2016 along with that will typically might not seem likely to turn to a Democrat. The district will be seen as so strongly Republican that will the Democrats did not even field a candidate in recent years.

along with while Mr. Saccone carried the most Trump-supporting counties along the West Virginia border, Mr. Lamb made just enough inroads in those rural areas to give the voters in suburban Allegheny County the chance to deliver the Democrat the slimmest of leads.

The stinging message could hardly have been more pointed for a Republican president mired in low approval ratings, burdened by investigations along with facing the growing likelihood that will Democrats may seize power in Congress later This kind of year.

Mr. Lamb, 33, defied political geography along with appeared on the verge of capturing the state’s 18th District despite a torrent of Republican money along with Mr. Trump’s personal intervention. At a rally Saturday, Mr. Trump mocked Mr. Lamb as “Lamb the Sham,” promised that will Mr. Saccone might “vote for us all the time,” along with rambled about his own achievements as he sought to transfer his own political success to the Republican candidate.


Rick Saccone, the Republican congressional candidate, spoke to supporters in Elizabeth Township, Pa., on Tuesday night as results came in that will showed him behind in a race that will was too close to call.

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

inside end, none of This kind of seemed to be enough. Democratic enthusiasm appeared to overwhelm a part of the state that will has long been a Republican stronghold. For the president, the vote will be an ominous echo of Democratic victories in Virginia along with Alabama, where his political efforts were shrugged off or counterproductive.

The tally was also a blunt rejection of the president’s political calculation that will tax cuts along with steel tariffs might persuade voters in a region once dominated by the steel industry to embrace the Trump agenda on behalf of Mr. Saccone. “Steel will be back,” he repeatedly said at the rally, apparently to little effect.

A Republican victory in Pennsylvania might have helped deflect attention by the continuing collapse of the president’s inner circle, which Tuesday included Mr. Trump’s abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson along with the forced resignation of Johnny McEntee, one of Mr. Trump’s closest personal aides, who will be under investigation for financial crimes along with was marched out of the White House.

Instead, Mr. Saccone’s lackluster performance was a grim bookend for a day in which the president’s trip to the Mexico-California border to view wall prototypes was completely overshadowed by the churning turnovers in his national security team.

Mr. Trump along with Republican Party leaders had desperately sought to head off an outcome that will was once thought of as politically impossible. Conservative groups spent more than $10 million inside hopes of defeating Mr. Lamb, who received similar help by Democratic politicians like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

A barrage of Republican advertisements condemned Mr. Lamb as a “Rubber Stamp for Nancy Pelosi,” the Democratic leader inside House. One flier sent to voters showed Mr. Lamb firing an assault weapon, an attempt to weaken the Democrat’s support among liberal voters. A deceptive video purported to show Mr. Lamb in a fight with labor unions.

although in recent weeks, polls in Pennsylvania consistently showed Mr. Saccone’s popularity slipping, along with Mr. Lamb gaining traction. Visits by Vice President Mike Pence along with different White House officials did little to buck up the party’s candidate.

By the time Mr. Trump arrived in Moon Township, Pa., for the rally, the race had tightened significantly, along with many White House along with Republican Party officials were already worried that will he was lending his support to a lost cause.

As This kind of turned out, they may have been right. During the rally, Mr. Trump called Mr. Saccone “an extraordinary person” along with dismissed Mr. Lamb as someone who should not be trusted by voters in western Pennsylvania.

“The people of Pittsburgh cannot be conned by This kind of guy Lamb, because he’s not going to vote for us,” Mr. Trump said. He also added a half-dozen presidential tweets over the last week.

On Tuesday night, as he huddled inside home of Edward Glazer, an owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, along with his wife, Shari, he had nothing to say on the matter.

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