In tight Pa. House race, Saccone leans on Trump and his base

In tight Pa. House race, Saccone leans on Trump and his base
Republican Rick Saccone, right, acknowledges the crowd during a campaign rally with President Donald Trump, Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Moon Township, Pa. Saccone is running against Democrat Conor Lamb in a special election being held on March 13 for the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District vacated by Republican Tim Murphy. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
In tight Pa. House race, Saccone leans on Trump and his base
Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers, left, lifts up Democratic candidate Conor Lamb's hand as the crowd erupts in cheers and chants during a rally, Sunday, March 11, 2018, at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Waynesburg, Pa. Lamb is running against state Rep. Rick Saccone for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District in a special election on Tuesday. (Antonella Crescimbeni/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

TRAFFORD, Pa. (AP) — Congressional candidate Rick Saccone has struggled more than Republicans in southwest Pennsylvania usually do.

So he's hoping that conservative voters see his race against Democrat Conor Lamb as proxy for the national political struggle playing out in Washington.

Polls show Lamb and Saccone in a tight race ahead of Tuesday's special House election.

Lamb has run as an independent-minded figure. He avoids criticizing President Donald Trump and says Democrats' congressional leaders should be replaced.

Republicans have tried to paint Lamb as a lackey for national Democrats who are unpopular in the district. Saccone emphasizes that he's a staunch opponent of abortion rights. He also enthusiastically supports President Donald Trump.

The president told Saccone supporters last weekend that Lamb is trying to con them.

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