Somehow, today's special election for one of Pennsylvania's seats in the US House has come to mean a whole lot about the November midterm elections, Trump, and the entire Future of America. "A bellwether," says The Washington Post.
Is he Trump Kryptonite?
Well, he does lead in some current polls in a district Trump won by 20 points so... possibly, yes.
And who is this guy? Who's he running against? From Vanity Fair:
Lamb is a former Marine and federal prosecutor who, at age 33, is seeking elective office for the first time. Republican State Rep. Rick Saccone, 60, is an Air Force veteran and businessman. Lamb has run to the center on abortion and guns, vowing to be independent from Nancy Pelosi (even stating he would prefer she be replaced as Speaker in a Democratic House), and Saccone has deviated from the line of Paul Ryan, supporting the tariffs on steel that Trump recently imposed. The district is heavily white and working-class.
So Lamb is decidedly not what Seattle would call a progressive. Yet he might win. And, according to the Washington Post, "if Democrats can win the mostly white, blue-collar southwestern Pittsburgh-area district, it might be an indication of their shot in more moderate districts, like the 23 Republican-held seats that also voted for Hillary Clinton, in their pursuit to take control of the House."
There's a big debate going on right now—at least in some corners of the left—over whether Democrats need to be focused on finding more Conor Lambs, even if it means accepting some center-hugging positions from them, or whether swinging hard to the left in every district in the country is the way to go.
Tonight's results from Pennsylvania will become grist for that fight, too, so get your arguments ready. After all, Trump—who is the fundamental reason Lamb has a chance of winning—is already getting his arguments ready.
If Saccone beats Lamb, well, of course it will be because Trump himself came and rallied the district's faithful (while barely mentioning Saccone at his supposedly pro-Saccone rally). If Lamb beats Saccone, well, it'll be because, as Trump is already saying in private, Saccone was "weak."