Democrat Conor Lamb heads into the final day of the special congressional election in western Pennsylvania with the lead, according to a new public poll released Monday.
Monmouth University used three different turnout models ahead of Tuesday’s special election —and Lamb has the advantage in all three of them, Politico reported.
Lamb is squaring off against Republican Rick Saccone, a state legislator and Air Force veteran in a traditionally blue-collar district that backed President Donald Trump by 20 points in 2016. They’re competing to replace GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned in October.
Lamb leads Saccone, 51 percent to 45 percent, the poll shows — using a turnout model that mirrors a Democratic surge that’s appeared in other special elections throughout the last year. Three percent of likely voters are undecided, and 1 percent would support another candidate.
A Monmouth poll released in mid-February, using the same model, found Saccone with a slight edge, 49 percent to 46 percent.
The poll suggests Lamb can win even if that Democratic surge falls short, however. In a more restrictive turnout model — designed to mirror a lower-turnout electorate that typically votes in midterm elections — Lamb has a slim, 2-point lead, 49 percent to 47 percent. A higher-turnout scenario, more similar to a presidential election, produces a 7-point Lamb lead, 51 percent to 44 percent.
“When added to a potential Democratic surge that has been building for weeks, Lamb appears to have picked off enough Republican-leaning voters to take a lead going into this contest’s final weekend,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray. “It would mark an extraordinary swing from Trump’s nearly 20-point victory here in 2016 if he could hold on to win.”
Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, is running as a centrist Democrat. He has called for new leadership in both parties and said he would oppose Nancy Pelosi as a leader.