White House says Dem's upset win came from embracing Trump policies

White House says Dem's upset win came from embracing Trump policies
© Greg Nash

The White House said Wednesday that Democrat Conor Lamb, who appears headed for an upset special election victory in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, won by embracing President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE’s policies.

Trump campaigned for Republican Rick Saccone, who appears headed for a narrow loss in a district that Trump carried by 20 points.

“The president’s engagement in the race turned what was a deficit for the Republican candidate to what is essentially a tie,” said White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah.

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“Also the Democrat in the race really embraced the president’s policies and his vision whereas he didn’t really embrace Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Trump surprises with consumer agency pick On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump nominates budget official Kraninger for consumer chief | Senate votes to block Trump ZTE deal | Stocks fall on trade tensions | House panel moves to markup budget MORE, the Democratic leader,” he said.

Lamb, who is Catholic, ran as a moderate Democrat, saying that he personally opposes abortion but supports the right to choose. He also said he supports strengthening the background checks system but did not join Democrats in calling for other new gun restrictions after a deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school last month.

But Lamb otherwise holds traditionally liberal views and had support from progressives.

The race has not officially been called but Lamb leads Saccone by about 500 votes according to the latest count. Republicans spent millions to pull Saccone across the finish line in the deep-red district.

Election forecasters say the contest is further evidence that Democrats are poised for a strong midterm election and could take control of the House for the first time since 2010.