Pennsylvania’s Democratic candidate, Conor Lamb, currently holds a slim lead over his Republican opponent, Rick Saccone, in yesterday’s election; but Saccone isn’t ready to concede.
Democratic groups and even Lamb’s campaign are declaring victory. NBC is projecting Lamb as the “apparent winner.” Right now, he holds a 700-vote lead. There’s 203 absentee ballots to count as well as additional provisional and military ballots to be counted. Saccone would need to secure an overwhelming number of those votes to win, and it’s not looking good for the GOP candidate.
The Saccone campaign will wait until all votes are counted before they decide how they will proceed – which can take as long as a week.
The national Republican Party hinted they might try and force a recount. Spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee Jesse Hunt said, “We are waiting for provisional ballots to be counted. We are not ruling out a recount.” The NRCC invested more than $3 million in Saccone.
From NPR: Even with such a photo finish, there is no provision for an automatic recount in a congressional race — only in statewide contests, per Pennsylvania election law. Voters can petition for a recount, however.
CNN reports, “The [Republican] party is going to request that all ballots and voting machines are impounded so nothing is tampered with to allow for a likely recount, the source said. They allege reports of ‘miscalibrations” of several voting machines in Allegheny County, including frozen touchscreens where voters intending to cast their ballot for Saccone were only presented with Lamb. The party also accuses the Allegheny County election board of not letting Republican officials into the room where absentee ballots were being counted.”
Maybe you remember a similar scenario playing out in Alabama last year when Republican candidate Roy Moore refused to concede to his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.
Conservative talking-head Laura Ingraham tried desperately to paint this as insignificant in a tweet saying, “So a Dem who’s essentially a Republican may beat a lackluster Republican candidate by a hair in a pro-Trump district. Not great but hardly a blue wave predictor.”
So a Dem who’s essentially a Republican may beat a lackluster Republican candidate by a hair in a pro-Trump district. Not great but hardly a blue wave predictor.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 14, 2018
Republican are worried. And they should be.