Democrats could pull an upset today in a Pennsylvania congressional race thanks to a Democratic candidate who is running away from the party's liberal House minority leader.
Current polling at RealClearPolitics shows a virtual dead heat in the 18th Congressional District, where Democratic candidate Conor Lamb (pictured at right) could wrestle a seat from the Republican Party after now-former Rep. Tim Murphy resigned in disgrace over an extramarital affair.
Attempting to keep the seat in GOP hands is Rick Saccone, who was enjoying a double-digit lead over Lamb in a Gravis poll in January. Two more recent Gravis polls show Saccone (pictured above) with a single-digit lead while Lamb is leading by two points in a Monmouth poll conducted late last week.
Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, says Republicans could pay a political price for Murphy's hypocritical actions.
"Who was speaking at the Right to Life march, and standing as a right to life person," Land says of Murphy, "the same time he was trying to convince his girlfriend to have an abortion."
The congressional district itself has more registered Democrats but has been voting Republican, and Land says it's smart of Lamb to claim he would not vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker if he is elected.
In a story that analyzes the history of the 18th District as well as both candidates, National Review writer Jay Cost says voters head to the polls in a race that remains a toss-up and a possible Democratic win.
"A victory for Lamb would be a huge symbolic triumph for Democrats heading into the fall midterms," Cost writes. "The last thing Republicans want is to buoy Democratic spirits before the filing deadlines prior to the midterms close — but this is a real possibility on Tuesday."
Cost writes that Saccone has run a lackluster campaign, with a weak grassroots effort, poor messaging, and lousy fundraising. Lamb has wooed conservative voters at the same time national Democratic money has poured in to bankroll a win.