YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (CBS News) – Voters in Western Pennsylvania head to the polls Tuesday to pick a new congressman. It’s in a district President Trump won easily in 2016. That’s one reason many consider the special election as a potential sign of things to come.
The eyes of Capitol Hill and much of the politically active nation will be watching. The seat up for grabs is a U.S. House seat that has been held by a Republican for 15 years. President Trump was in the district over the weekend, trying to help make sure it stays that way.
The contest is drawing so much national attention because of its potential to preview a change in the political landscape in the upcoming midterm elections. The latest national poll, in the district president Trump won by more than 20-points, has Democrat Conor Lamb ahead of Republican Rick Saccone by six points. Lamb, a 33-year-old a political newcomer, is a former prosecutor and retired Marine.
“This is a time in our country where many of our most important promises seem to be up for grabs.//things like Social Security and Medicare that apply to every American,” Lamb said.
Republican Saccone has been playing up his seven years as a state lawmaker.
“His two biggest accomplishments in life is that he was appointed by Obama and voted for Hillary. And I’m the person with the experience and the record of doing that. He has no record, c’mon on,” Saccone said.
Whoever wins, though, will hold the seat for just about half a year. That’s the remainder of Republican Tim Murphy’s term, who resigned last year over allegations he encouraged his mistress to have an abortion.