The following is an excerpt from JIM NEWELL | March 14, 2018 | Slate.com |
You could tell that the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District would make for a long night when anonymous Republican operatives told reporters late Tuesday afternoon that it would be a short night.
One “Republican with knowledge” told NBC News on Tuesday that Democrat Conor Lamb could beat Republican Rick Saccone by “as many as six.” And what kind of cynic would not take a Republican With Knowledge at his or her word?
Lamb did not win by 6 percentage points, of course. Though Saccone has not conceded, Lamb is the apparent winner by 627 out of a total 228,378 votes cast. It was not an “early night,” as anyone who was still captivated by Steve Kornacki’s absentee ballot tabulations at midnight can attest. The pre-emptive groaning from Republicans about their own hopelessness was a painfully obvious lowering of expectations that would allow them to pretend-declare victory in a race that shouldn’t have been competitive in the first place. Right on cue, anonymous White House officials patted themselves on the back on Tuesday for their tremendous work in ensuring that a Republican only barely lost an R+11 district that Donald Trump carried by 20 points all of 16 months ago.
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