As of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Democrat Conor Lamb leads GOP candidate Rick Saccone by a mere 641 votes in a special House election in Pennsylvania. Republicans are calling for a recount, but Lamb has already declared victory.
The fact that a Democrat is eking out ahead of a Republican Trump favorite in Trump country is a sign that the 2018 midterms will not be a cakewalk for Republicans across the country. And several in the conservative commentariat class are making just that point:
“He may still be beloved by his base, but even endorsements and rallies from the president himself and his closest allies have not guaranteed victory in the various elections that have peppered the political landscape since 2016. The reality of 2018 is that even in places where the president himself may be more popular than average, Republicans are going to have to fight for their own wins,” Kristen Soltis Anderson writes in the Washington Examiner.
Soltis Anderson is correct; only Donald J. Trump can be Donald J. Trump. Republican candidates for House and Senate races in many states this year will need to be aggressive, winsome conservative prospects in their own right.