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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Conor Lamb’s Campaign Formula in PA-18 May Help Other Dems

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his facebook page

The PA-18 model for 2018?

Tuesday’s the big day in Pennsylvania’s 18th CD. Will Democrat Conor Lamb pull off the big upset of absurdly reactionary Trumpian Republican Rick Saccone?

To be honest, this one could go either way. But the very fact that the race is so tight and that Lamb could easily pull off the upset is amazing in and of itself.. This is a district that Trump carried by almost 20 points and it is about 60 percent white noncollege. According to Ron Brownstein, there are only six (!) districts that are more white than PA-18.

So how is Lamb making this election such a contest? The just-released Monmouth Poll tells the story. He is cleaning up among college-educated voters–winning them by 22 points–while being very competitive among noncollege voters–a modest 6 point deficit. (Given how white this district is, we can take these figures as close approximations of preferences among white college and white noncollege voters.)

This is a great formula and the key to a Democratic wave election that pushes into areas–and there are many–where minority voter concentrations are relatively small and white noncollege voters dominate.

If this election is a win for Lamb or even a very close loss, there is much to be learned here for a successful Democratic 2018.

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