Sabato’s Crystal Ball updated its rating for the special election in the 18th district and Congressman Keith Rothfus’ new 17th district from ‘lean Republican’ to ‘toss up.’
One the main reasons for the shift in the rating for the 18th district is Republican Rick Saccone’s low fundraising totals compared with Democrat Conor Lamb’s fundraising efforts.
“[F]ormer federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D) has run a stronger campaign than state Rep. Rick Saccone (R). One way to measure that is fundraising: Lamb has raised $3.9 million while Saccone’s tally is only about $920,000,” Sabato reports.
The redraw of the state’s Congressional districts means that Lamb would live in the newly drawn 17th district, which Rothfus now lives in.
While Lamb would not be required to run in the 17th, you don’t have to live within the district you run in, his possible candidacy raises some interesting prospects for Democrats.
“Lamb appears likely to run in the new PA-17 against Rep. Keith Rothfus (R) whether he wins or loses on Tuesday. In anticipation of that possibility, we’re moving PA-17 from Leans Republican to Toss-up — Trump won the new district by less than three points, and Lamb represents a formidable challenger to Rothfus whether he is a sitting incumbent or not,” Sabato writes.