The stakes are high in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District special election as both Democrats and Republicans are closely watching the results for indications of how the 2018 midterm elections may play out and for signs of who might control the House of Representatives after November.
It is also true that Lamb has run a solid campaign, unifying Democrats, especially union Democrats, many of whom had backed the former Republican incumbent Tim Murphy, who often tossed votes to the trade unions.
"For so many of those voters in Pennsylvania, they were first-time voters [in 2016]", the operative told me. I'll tell you some more - my wife and I saw it again today.
Saccone did not explain how that hatred for God was manifested. Donald Trump Jr. attended the rally and spoke on behalf of candidate Rick Saccone.
Lamb held no public events on Monday, focusing on door-to-door campaigning as part of a do-no-harm approach that irked Republicans.
The massive Republican tax code overhaul passed into law late previous year is facing voters in a major election for the first time Tuesday.
Democrats must flip 24 Republican-held seats to gain the House majority.
During the CNN panels tonight on the PA-18 special election, the question of President Trump's impact came up a few times. "We didn't need to add a penny to our debt to have the tax cut for our working and middle-class people", Lamb said in a debate. "Get out there and vote". And special elections have been very good for Democrats so far; they have swept a number of state races in red districts in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, plus the Senate race in Alabama. You had an A+ candidate running against an F candidate. Conor's father worked in the Congress in the 1980s for US Rep. Austin Murphy, and is now a well-connected top government affairs officer for PNC, the nation's ninth largest bank.
Trump won the district, in southwest Pennsylvania, by almost 20 points in 2016 and has endorsed Saccone.
But the area covered by the 18th district had been trending Republican for decades. Lamb, according to the Monmouth poll and lots of other recent reporting, has succeeded in connecting with traditionally Democratic blue collar voters, the ones who failed to turn out in sufficient numbers for Hillary Clinton.
"There is no doubt that Mr. Lamb has benefited from running against a lackluster opponent", the Times's editorial board wrote, but noted that "without a serious Democratic challenger, Mr. Saccone might have coasted to victory" in the special election.
Besides bruising the president, a Lamb defeat also could shake Republican self-assurance that their new tax law is an omnipotent offense and defense in their midterm matchups. Saccone says Trump "needs a good wingman". As a close observer here in western Pennsylvania, it's clear to me that the passion is on the side of the anti-Trump voters who intend to send a message by electing Conor Lamb.
While Washington Republicans talk about the race as a local anomaly, the national mood can't be ignored.
Republicans in the Trump era had found similar fault with other struggling candidates. "Around here, people are really excited for this race and I'm happy for them that their voices are going to be heard", Lamb said.
"He's not on the ticket in 2018, he is not on the ticket tomorrow, people have to realize in many ways he is, because all of his accomplishments, all of what he has gotten done, all of the winning they are now getting used to can all go away" if voters don't show up in House races, the president's eldest son said.
But Handel, who raised funds with Trump, did not bring him to the district for a rally. Lamb told union workers Sunday they'd "been the heart and soul of this campaign".
President Donald Trump dominated the district in 2016 and has offered his backing to Saccone. "He's such a powerful person that commands the audience".
"He's such a great speaker", Saccone said Sunday on Fox News. "Everybody that's in there is just in awe".