Saccone lost because he didn't make the election a referendum on Trump

Conor Lamb, Democrat, leads Rick Saccone, Republican, by about 500 votes out of over 200,000 votes cast in the 18th Congressional District special election in southwestern Pennsylvania.  While it is still possible for Saccone to win after all absentee ballots are counted, it appears that Lamb has won.  Even if Saccone wins, the following criticism of his campaign ads still applies.

President Trump carried this district by over 20 points.  The district includes southern Allegheny County (excludes Pittsburgh) and Westmoreland, Washington, and Greene Counties.   Lamb won because of the vote in Allegheny County.  Saccone carried the other three counties. 

The district will disappear and be apportioned to other districts if the redistricting map done by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court survives the legal challenges.

Lamb will serve until January 2019.  There will be an election in November 2018 for the new district, so Lamb and Saccone may again run against each other.

Given President Trump's landslide victory in this district, Saccone, or any Republican, should have won by at least 5 to 10 points.  Instead, Lamb leads by about 500 votes.  Why?

I am a resident of this district.  Saccone lost because the Republicans ran a lousy advertising campaign.  Saccone should fire the campaign managers and consultants who produced the ads and hire new ones for the November election.  These consultants should not work any other election.

Simply put, the Republican strategy was to nationalize the election by presenting Lamb as a tool of Nancy Pelosi.  The problem with this is that Lamb announced on day one that he would vote against Pelosi as House speaker.

The Republicans should have nationalized the election by praising President Trump.  They should have highlighted Trump's achievements such as his tax cuts, reducing regulations, the booming economy, the booming stock market, the defeat of ISIS, and the enforcement of our immigration laws.  There should have been photos of Saccone with Trump and Saccone promising to continue the Trump agenda.  There were a few ads on the tax cuts, but they were negative in that one ad said Lamb opposed the cuts.  Problem is, Lamb wasn't in Congress to vote against.  President Trump appeared at a rally on Saturday, March 10, which helped reduce Lamb's lead.

The Republicans sought to demonize Lamb.  The problem is that there was nothing to demonize.  Lamb has never held public office.  He served in the Marines, then worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh.  He is only 33 years old and appears as a clean-cut, polished speaker with no baggage to attack.  His grandfather was speaker of the Pennsylvania House in the 1970s, and an uncle is a county official.  He comes from a large, well known, respected family in the southern suburbs in Allegheny County that gave Lamb the win.

Demonization worked against Hillary Clinton because she has much to attack.  The demonization ads against Lamb attacked him for cases he handled as a prosecutor where defendants received plea deals that were portrayed as favorable to the defendants.  But these deals were approved by the U.S. attorney. Lamb could not do these without approval.  The U.S. attorney appeared in a Lamb ad praising Lamb's work. 

The Republicans should have run a positive campaign stressing how Saccone would help Trump achieve his agenda of building the wall, enforcing immigration laws, cutting taxes, reducing regulations, and bringing back manufacturing jobs.  This district lost many manufacturing jobs and steel-making jobs and responded well to Trump's tariffs.  Both Lamb and Saccone support Trump's tariffs.

The bottom line is that Trump won this district by 20 points, which means his agenda is well received here.  But the Republican strategy was to link Lamb to Nancy Pelosi instead of linking Saccone to President Trump. 

As they say, all politics is local.  The Republicans who ran these ads did not understand the 18th District.  They do not understand the appeal of Trump, who won here by 20 points.

Conor Lamb, Democrat, leads Rick Saccone, Republican, by about 500 votes out of over 200,000 votes cast in the 18th Congressional District special election in southwestern Pennsylvania.  While it is still possible for Saccone to win after all absentee ballots are counted, it appears that Lamb has won.  Even if Saccone wins, the following criticism of his campaign ads still applies.

President Trump carried this district by over 20 points.  The district includes southern Allegheny County (excludes Pittsburgh) and Westmoreland, Washington, and Greene Counties.   Lamb won because of the vote in Allegheny County.  Saccone carried the other three counties. 

The district will disappear and be apportioned to other districts if the redistricting map done by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court survives the legal challenges.

Lamb will serve until January 2019.  There will be an election in November 2018 for the new district, so Lamb and Saccone may again run against each other.

Given President Trump's landslide victory in this district, Saccone, or any Republican, should have won by at least 5 to 10 points.  Instead, Lamb leads by about 500 votes.  Why?

I am a resident of this district.  Saccone lost because the Republicans ran a lousy advertising campaign.  Saccone should fire the campaign managers and consultants who produced the ads and hire new ones for the November election.  These consultants should not work any other election.

Simply put, the Republican strategy was to nationalize the election by presenting Lamb as a tool of Nancy Pelosi.  The problem with this is that Lamb announced on day one that he would vote against Pelosi as House speaker.

The Republicans should have nationalized the election by praising President Trump.  They should have highlighted Trump's achievements such as his tax cuts, reducing regulations, the booming economy, the booming stock market, the defeat of ISIS, and the enforcement of our immigration laws.  There should have been photos of Saccone with Trump and Saccone promising to continue the Trump agenda.  There were a few ads on the tax cuts, but they were negative in that one ad said Lamb opposed the cuts.  Problem is, Lamb wasn't in Congress to vote against.  President Trump appeared at a rally on Saturday, March 10, which helped reduce Lamb's lead.

The Republicans sought to demonize Lamb.  The problem is that there was nothing to demonize.  Lamb has never held public office.  He served in the Marines, then worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh.  He is only 33 years old and appears as a clean-cut, polished speaker with no baggage to attack.  His grandfather was speaker of the Pennsylvania House in the 1970s, and an uncle is a county official.  He comes from a large, well known, respected family in the southern suburbs in Allegheny County that gave Lamb the win.

Demonization worked against Hillary Clinton because she has much to attack.  The demonization ads against Lamb attacked him for cases he handled as a prosecutor where defendants received plea deals that were portrayed as favorable to the defendants.  But these deals were approved by the U.S. attorney. Lamb could not do these without approval.  The U.S. attorney appeared in a Lamb ad praising Lamb's work. 

The Republicans should have run a positive campaign stressing how Saccone would help Trump achieve his agenda of building the wall, enforcing immigration laws, cutting taxes, reducing regulations, and bringing back manufacturing jobs.  This district lost many manufacturing jobs and steel-making jobs and responded well to Trump's tariffs.  Both Lamb and Saccone support Trump's tariffs.

The bottom line is that Trump won this district by 20 points, which means his agenda is well received here.  But the Republican strategy was to link Lamb to Nancy Pelosi instead of linking Saccone to President Trump. 

As they say, all politics is local.  The Republicans who ran these ads did not understand the 18th District.  They do not understand the appeal of Trump, who won here by 20 points.