MT. LEBANON, Pa. — Republicans scrambled Wednesday to explain what happened in Pennsylvania, as a Democrat stood on the verge of a monumental win in a U.S. House special election that became a test of President Trump’s political clout.
While the race was still too close to call, Democrats were declaring victory as their candidate, Conor Lamb, clung to a narrow lead over Republican Rick Saccone.
The head of the House Republican campaign arm called the contest a “wake-up call,” according to a Republican present for his remarks.
Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio briefed House Republicans on what happened in the district, which Trump won in 2016 by almost 20 points, and what it means moving toward the November midterms, according to the Republican familiar with his remarks, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a private session.
“This is a wake-up call. If you’re getting outraised, this is a wake-up call. Prepare to bear down,” Stivers said, according to the Republican.