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Wed Mar 14, 2018, 10:01 AM

Strong Performance by Democrat Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania Shakes Trump and G.O.P.


LOS ANGELES ó President Trump was hanging out here in the land of earthquakes, but he was 2,500 miles away from the tremor that really shook his party on Tuesday night.

While the president hobnobbed with wealthy donors in the exclusive enclave of Beverly Park, the voters in the suburbs south of Pittsburgh were in revolt, giving the Democratic candidate a narrow lead in a special election in Pennsylvania that was taking on outsize proportions.

Just as they did outside Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala., in December, and Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C., in November, energized and angry suburban voters were swamping the Trump stalwarts in the more rural parts of those regions, sending a clear message to Republicans around the country.

While Republican turnout in a district that Mr. Trump won by 20 percentage points was healthy, Democrats showed once again that they could tap unions and other traditionally friendly groups to get their voters out in droves. The N.A.A.C.P. helped win Attorney General Jeff Sessionsí Alabama Senate seat for Doug Jones in December. Organized labor, once seen as fractured and feckless in the Trump era, gave the Democrat Conor Lamb his lead in Pennsylvania overnight.

Rick Saccone, the Republican candidate who wrapped himself in Mr. Trumpís cloak and drew the president to his district last weekend in a bid to rescue a faltering campaign, trailed Mr. Lamb, a former Marine seeking to show his party can compete even in red territory. Mr. Lamb held a lead of just 641 votes early Wednesday, with some absentee ballots still to be counted, but Democrats went ahead and claimed victory.


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