Republicans are hoping to prevent a Pennsylvania congressional district that Donald Trump won handily from falling into Democratic hands in Tuesday's special election.

Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone are in a close race in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, located in the heart of steel country, to replace former GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned after allegedly urging a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion.

A Monmouth University poll released Monday showed Lamb, a 33-year-old Marine veteran and former prosecutor, with a slight lead among likely voters over the 60-year-old Saccone.

A Lamb win tonight would signal that the GOP is in danger even in districts considered safe for Republicans, raising Democratic hopes of capturing the House and maybe the Senate in November. A Republican loss could lead to more House members retiring rather than running into headwinds in re-election bids. Democrats, meanwhile, would look to replicate Lamb's successes in working-class districts with similar demographics.

Republicans have spent more than $10 million to prevent a defeat in the district, which Trump won in 2016 by 20 percentage points. Trump remains popular in the district -- 51% of likely voters there approve of his job performance while 47% disapprove, the Monmouth poll out Monday showed.


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