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Monday, March 12, 2018
Voters divided on steel tariffs, but negligible impact on vote
West Long Branch, NJ – Democrat Conor Lamb has taken a lead over Republican Rick Saccone in the special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. The Monmouth University Poll finds PA18 voters are divided on whether recently announced steel tariffs will help or hurt the local economy, but very few say this policy will influence their vote in Tuesday’s election to fill the open House seat.
Lamb holds a 51% to 45% lead over Saccone if turnout yields a Democratic surge similar to voting patterns seen in other special elections over the past year. Another 1% opt for a third party candidate and 3% are undecided. Lamb also has the edge using a historical midterm lower turnout model, albeit by a much smaller 49% to 47% margin. A model with higher turnout overall, similar to a presidential electorate, gives Lamb a 51% to 44% advantage.
This marks a turnaround from last month’s Monmouth poll of the race, when Saccone held a small lead in all the models – 49% to 46% in the surge model, 48% to 44% in the high turnout model, and 50% to 45% in the low turnout model.
“This district has voted overwhelmingly Republican in recent elections, but a large number of these voters have blue-collar Democratic roots. Lamb seems to have connected with them,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Lamb earns a net positive 53% favorable and 33% unfavorable rating from likely voters in PA18. Opinion is somewhat more divided on Saccone at 47% favorable and 43% unfavorable. Fully 95% of self-identified Democrats support Lamb (to 5% for Saccone), while 88% of self-identified Republicans support Saccone (to 9% for Lamb). Independents prefer Lamb by a 51% to 45% margin.