The nation is gearing up for the midterm elections later this year, but not before there is a special election this week in the Pennsylvania Congressional district vacated by disgraced former Republican Congressman Tim Murphy. Murphy resigned after it was revealed that the anti-abortion Republican had sought to pressure a woman with whom he was having an affair to have an abortion.
That’s not the only issue at play here, though. Democrats have enjoyed a surge in enthusiasm in the face of the president’s policies, and that surge has reached the point that Murphy’s old seat, in a district Trump won by about 20 points in 2016, should be considered in play.
There is now yet another poll out that has the Democratic candidate in that race, Conor Lamb, with a lead over Republican Rick Saccone. The poll was released by Monmouth University on Monday and has Lamb with a 6 percent lead over Saccone, a lead that surpasses the poll’s margin of error of 5.1 percent.
The poll has Lamb with 51 percent of the vote and Saccone with only 45 percent.
The poll’s estimation of the final results of the election takes into an account an estimated Democratic surge that is based on surges in other special elections held throughout the past year. That surge culminated in such notable instances as the victory of Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in the race to fill the Alabama U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.
President Trump himself cast his support behind Moore, but that wasn’t enough to save his candidacy.
In similar fashion to Moore’s case, the president cast his support behind Saccone via appearing at a rally this past Saturday, but considering these poll results, it’s questionable whether or not that will be enough to put him over the top. The time period in which the poll was conducted extends to the day after Trump rallied in Pennsylvania.
That rally was marked for reasons besides the boost to Saccone’s candidacy that it was in theory supposed to provide. At that rally, for instance, the president called NBC journalist Chuck Todd a “sleeping son of a bitch,” likely killing Saccone’s chances to ride the president’s rally appearance to an easy boost in support. Instead of the conversation after the rally being about Saccone, it’s about the incendiary comments that the president offered, such as that the death penalty should be instituted for drug dealers.
Considering the poll results, it’s not as though Saccone couldn’t have used the support, but whether the president delivered is an open question.
It’s not as though Monmouth University’s polling is conventionally swayed towards the Democratic candidate; last month, the institution recorded Saccone as having a 3 percent lead.
Also compared to last month’s poll, the percent of the population with a favorable view of Lamb has gone up an estimated 4 percent.
Issues weighing on the race include the president’s recent decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum in the face of stiff opposition. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed said that they believe the tariffs will hurt the economy.
Going forward from this race into the midterms later this year, Democrats continue to maintain a lead in generic Congressional ballot polling.
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