This week, while Donald Trump was rubbing elbows with wealthy Republican donors in southern California, an earthquake was being felt some 2000 miles east in western Pennsylvania. It was being caused either by the elation being experienced by the Democratic voters or the jaws dropping in the Republican party. This was in a district that won’t even exist in the fall.
Trump won this district by more than twenty points in 2016. Just as they did in Alabama, Virginia, New Jersey, and elsewhere, energized and angry voters sent a clear message to Republicans around the country. Even in red districts, the Democrats showed that they could get their voters out in droves.
The Pennsylvania result was a blunt rejection of Trump’s political calculation that tax cuts for the wealthy and steel tariffs would persuade voters to embrace his agenda by voting for Republican candidate Rick Saccone. This was in spite of $10 million being spent on the Saccone campaign. The upset was accompanied by a barrage of ads condemning Lamb as a “Rubber Stamp for Nancy Pelosi.” Another showed Lamb firing an assault weapon.
The Conor Lamb victory may still be contested, but whether or not Mr. Lamb holds on to officially win, this one House seat matters less than the fact that he was so competitive in this kind of district the first place. The rebuke of Mr. Trump came from a region of Pennsylvania that overwhelmingly supported him in the presidential election, and that typically has not supported Democrats.
Rarely shy about weighing in on news of the day, Mr. Trump’s Twitter account made no mention of the Pennsylvania race. Instead, he left it to an aide to find the silver lining. Raj Shah came up with this: “The Democrat’s showing was really a validation of the popularity of the president’s policies.” Give me a break! Meanwhile, the Trump Twitter crickets are still silent about their stunning defeat.
I’m a retired clinical pharmacist. Always for the underdog. I’m a Democrat, a dog lover and love to cook!