Sunday, March 18News That Matters

Republican in deep-red district claims to be 'the underdog' in Pennsylvania special election

Rick Saccone is a Republican running for a House seat in a district Donald Trump won by nearly 20 points. He is an elected state representative who won a competitive primary in this red district, while his Democratic opponent, Conor Lamb, is not an elected official. Saccone has benefited from $10 million in spending to bolster his candidacy, along with repeated visits from Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway, and Donald Trump Jr. But Rick Saccone believes he’s an underdog:

“Well, I’ve always been the underdog in every race I’ve ever ran. This is my fifth election. So, I relish being the underdog. That’s good,” Saccone told Fox News in an interview Tuesday morning. “You know, it’s all in the Lord’s hands. He’s got to get people, move their hearts to get out and vote today. Wake up and go vote, people.”

Rick, you’re underperforming. It’s different from being an underdog. Yes, Donald Trump is unpopular in much of the country, but you are in a district he dominated, and you came in with all the advantages—except the advantages of being a good candidate running a good campaign.

But Saccone didn’t stop the dishonesty about the basic, verifiable facts of the race there:

“Well, it’s an open seat. And you know, as you study politics, and I’m a political scientist, you know there’s a lot more interest, a lot of national interest whenever it’s an open seat,” Saccone said. “It’s hard to beat an incumbent. So, you know, it’s natural that the Dems would try to pour everything into it to take a seat.”

Um, excuse me? One party has poured everything into it to try to win this seat, and it’s not the Democrats, who’ve kept their outside spending relatively minimal. But this is what Fox & Friends exists for—so Republicans can say ridiculous things without pushback and Donald Trump can feel stroked and soothed.

It’s Election Day! Help Democrat Conor Lamb get out the vote!