Counting of the election day and absentee votes in the U.S. House District 18 special election is now complete, and Democrat Conor Lamb is poised for a stunning upset with a 627-vote lead over Republican Rick Saccone.
The Pennsylvania district, which voted for President Trump in 2016 by a 20-point margin, was once considered an easy win for Republicans. But Lamb currently leads Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone by 627 ballots, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
Lamb declared victory early Wednesday morning, although the race hasn’t yet been called.
“It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. You did it,” Lamb told supporters at his election night party shortly before 1 a.m., after he was introduced as “congressman-elect.”
There are some remaining provisional ballots and any military or overseas ballots, which may currently still be in the mail but must be received by the counties by March 20. According to election officials, less than 500 ballots are expected.
There is no mandatory recount for this district, but a candidate may request a recount by precinct with petitions from voters. They have five days after the county completes its computation to do so.
Here are the current vote totals, with 100% of precincts reporting:
Conor Lamb, Democrat: 113,813 – 49.8%
Rick Saccone, Republican: 113,186 – 49.6%
Miller, Libertarian: 1,379 – 0.6%
Republicans spent millions in the PA-18 race and President Trump held a weekend rally in Pittsburgh. Id did not work.
The White House is blaming Saccone for the loss, saying he was a “weak candidate” who decided to “run scared”
The “GOP does not view (the race) as a referendum on Trump. Rather a weak candidate,” one source said. “Candidates either run hard or run scared. It was obvious that Saccone decided to run scared,” said another.