A Democrat’s (likely) win in a district that went for Trump by 20 points has alarm bells are going off with Republicans in DC.
The Democrats erased a 20 percentage point Trump advantage in the typically Republican 18th Congressional District, with Democrat Conor Lamb leading Republican Rick Saccone by a hair with most precincts in and the absentee votes yet to count.
It wasn’t the blowout some Republicans feared, but the development signals a toxic political atmosphere made more so by a polarizing president whose domination of the media has overwhelmed good news about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its positive impact on the economy. Most worrisome to senior Republicans — that incumbents used to electoral booms under President Barack Obama are ill-prepared for what’s coming.
“It’s getting too late for some of these members to turn things around,” said GOP strategist Jeff Burton, a former National Republican Congressional Committee official who now runs the Burton Strategy Group. “Some incumbents could lose in November who don’t even think they have races right now.”