3/16 Ups & Downs

Fallout from the special election in the 18th district special election, Lamb and Saccone trending in opposite directions again, labor unions getting credit for pushing Lamb over the line, and Toohil shows courage.  See who made this week’s Ups & Downs!




Conor Lamb.  Democrat Conor Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone in the 18th district Congressional district by a few hundred votes.  Lamb flipped a district that Trump won by 20 points in 2016 and turned it Democratic, if only for a year.



Down Arrow Rick Saccone.  After being out raised and out campaigned, Republican Rick Saccone lost the special election in the 18th Congressional district, and has had the blame put squarely on his shoulders by national and state Republicans before election day and continuing afterwards.  



Down Arrow Beth Tarasi.  Democratic Congressional candidate Beth Tarasi was the front runner in the primary to take on Congressman Keith Rothfus until Conor Lamb entered the race for the 17th district.  In a divided field that includes Democrats Aaron Anthony, Erin McClelland, and Ray Linsenmayer, how will any of them be able to overcome Lamb’s momentum.



Up-Arrow4-2 Tarah Toohil.  State Rep. Tarah Toohil showed true strength and courage when she came forward as one of the two women accusing state Rep. Nick Miccarelli of physical and sexual abuse by obtaining a three year protection of abuse order this week.  By coming forward Toohil continued to shine light on issues of harassment and abuse women face in all lines of work.



Down Arrow


Voters Outside the 18th.  Voters outside the 18th Congressional district were confused on Tuesday, some even angered, that they could not vote in the special election for the 18th Congressional district.



Up-Arrow4-2 Chrissy Houlahan.  Democratic Congressional candidate Chrissy Houlahan got great news this week following the 18th district special election when it was revealed that the person she is aiming to challenge, Congressman Ryan Costello, is considering ending his Congressional bid.  



Down Arrow Milton Cranford.  Arkansas lobbyist Milton Cranford is not a person most in Pennsylvania would have recognized before this week when it was revealed he tried to hire a person to kill former aide to Congressman Bob Brady Donald Jones after Jones started working with federal investigators following his cooperation in the investigation into Brady’s campaign paying off a primary challenger to exit the race.  



Down Arrow Candidates Relying on Trump Momentum.  Following the results of the special election, candidates looking to ride momentum from President Trump, like Gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner and Senate candidate Lou Barletta, will need to figure out a new strategy after seeing the Trump candidate lose in a district Trump won by 20 points.  



Down Arrow Keith Rothfus. Congressman Keith Rothfus saw his seat shifted to ‘toss up’ and could possibly face off against Conor Lamb who has built a national name and a large network of donors.  Rothfus, who has a strong record of fundraising, hasn’t faces a strong Democratic challenger or run in a year without Obama as President.  That combined with the new map only keeping 56% of his current constituents could make for a tough year.





Labor Unions.  While the national debate will continue over whether Lamb is a mainstream Democrat or a Republican-lite, almost everyone is agrees that organized labor gave him the push over the line in the close election.  




Bonus Up/Down: Every week, PoliticsPA will be including a bonus up or down, that is exclusive to Playbook email subscribers.  To sign up to see the bonus arrow click here.

The tweet of the week goes to Libertarian Congressional candidate Drew Miller for his understanding where blame would be put in the special election.  


7 Responses

      1. Labor unions are irrelevant in today’s world; they belong in a museum. PA will not thrive until it follows Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, etc and becomes a Right to Work state. Our children should be taught by professionals, not union members.

        1. Labor unions are clearly needed and even MORE relevant today. As evidenced by last week’s special election in the 18th CD, they still have political clout. Big mistake to try and minimize unions, pal.

          1. Anyone saying labor unions aren’t needed anymore is still living in upper middle class mommy and daddy’s home, created by unions, has removed them from reality.

          2. Free collective bargaining and union membership is one measure used to determine a democratic society around the world and might I add that democracy is declining around the world.

  1. Congratulations to the more than 200,000 people who took the time to vote in the 18th Dist. special election.

  • Will Doug Mastriano Run For U.S. Senate?

    • No. Not Enough Support From Mainstream GOP. (91%)
    • Yes. Let Doug Be Doug. (9%)

    Total Voters: 892

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