The stakes are high in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District special election as both Democrats and Republicans are closely watching the results for indications of how the 2018 midterm elections may play out and for signs of which party might control the House of Representatives after November.
Polls closed at 8 p.m. ET. Check back to ABCNews.com for results.
9:31 P.M. – Saccone watching results, not TV
Several of the voters at Saccone headquarters are wearing Trump hats or pins. And a spokesperson for Saccone tells ABC News’ Becky Perlow that the candidate is upstairs, above the rally with his wife, son Matt, Matt’s wife and his two grandkids. They’re not watching the news. They just keep refreshing the Pennsylvania Secretary of State website, watching the results.
9:13 P.M. – Saccone making up some ground
With 35 percent of precincts reporting, Republican candidate Rick Saccone is making up ground.
Precincts are starting to report in Westmoreland, the second largest county in the district, which Trump won in 2016 by 34 percentage points. Saccone is currently leading Lamb by 10 percentage points, narrowing the gap we’ve seen so far in the raw vote.
9:04 P.M. – Lamb still outperforming Clinton
Lamb is also leading in the vote tabulation in Washington County and strongly outperforming Hillary Clinton in the county. In the 2016 race, Trump bested Clinton by over 25 percentage points, currently, Lamb is leading Saccone, although these are still the very first votes to come in from the county.
9:01 P.M. – Saccone voter praises candidate’s support for Trump
Holden Sczerba, a 19-year-old Duquesne University College Republican vice president, told ABC News he supported Saccone because he’s the best candidate to support Trump’s agenda. He also mentioned the tax cuts Republicans passed, which is an issue the GOP hopes will get them traction with voters in other contests.
ABC News’ Becky Perlow reports from Saccone’s headquarters that the energy in the room is nervous excitement. They all expect Saccone to win, given the district’s red history. Most of the voters here are personal friends of Saconne’s — people who have known him for 15, 20+ years, and have shared stories about him as a friend, a military veteran, and more.
Watch more voter interviews on our live stream.
8:57 P.M. – Lamb is outpacing Clinton’s 2016 performance
Lamb is currently leading in the raw vote tabulation, but most of these numbers are from Allegheny county, the largest and the most Democratic of the counties in the 18th Congressional District. Lamb is outperforming Hillary Clinton in both Allegheny, the largest county in the district, and in Greene, the smallest, despite Saccone currently leading in Greene. In 2016, President Trump won Greene count by 43 points.
8:48 P.M. – First set of numbers rolling in
The first numbers are coming in and Democrat Conor Lamb is out-performing Hillary Clinton in the first precincts to report. We should caution these are the very first results.
The first votes posted more than 45 minutes after the polls closed and the numbers are changing by the minute.
8:46 P.M. – And what is Trump doing tonight?
For those curious as the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District results continue rolling in, President Donald Trump is currently attending a fundraiser at the Beverly Hills estate of Ed Glazer, who is the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tickets for the fundraiser range from $35k-250k per person for the Trump Victory committee, the joint fundraiser between the Trump reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee.
The committee expects the event will raise $5 million.
8:39 P.M. – The role of unions
ABC News talked to Reading, Penn. Mayor John Fetterman who argued that Lamb ran as a moderate Democrat and that fit the mold of the district. In particular, Fetterman cited Lamb’s support for unions as a part of his success.
“The major miscalculation Saccone has made is talking about his right-to-work chops. I think that’s really going to cost him the election,” he said.
8:15 P.M. – Conor Lamb supporters hopeful
At Conor Lamb headquarters in Canonsburg, Penn., a roar went up at 8 p.m. when polls closed, a major milestone for so many of the party’s attendees who have braved the western Pennsylvania cold all winter to canvass for the political novice. All election night parties begin as spirited affairs but there’s a notable buzz in the air here and campaign staffers have been doing a poor job of hiding their grins.
ABC News is also at Republican Rick Saccone’s headquarters. Check out our our live stream here for more.
8:00 P.M. – Polls have closed in Pennsylvania
Polls have closed in Pennsylvania.
ABC News is live from the candidates’ headquarters. Watch our live stream here.
And keep an eye on ABCNews.com for results as the votes come in.
6:25 P.M. – The sights and sounds of election day
Conor Lamb took his grandmother to the polls to vote this morning in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. Rick Saccone thanked President Trump as he exited the voting booth.
See below for a round-up of the sights and sounds of Election Day so far in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.
5:42 P.M. – Both candidates urging last minute voters to get to the polls
With just two and a half hours left until polls close, both Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb are taking to Twitter to urge those last minute voters to get out and vote before 8 P.M.
Turnout is expected to be key in the special election tonight, and both candidates are obviously aware they can’t leave any votes on the table.
3:51 P.M. – Candidates project aura of optimism
ABC’s News “18 for 18” reporter Adam Kelsey, on the ground in the 18th Congressional District, reports that both campaigns have attempted to project an aura of optimism as voters head to the polls.
Democrat Conor Lamb’s campaign aides and volunteers are downright bubbly when you speak to them, clearly aware that their candidate has made major strides in this deep-red district, win or lose.
On the other side, GOP candidate Rick Saccone told ABC News on Monday that he was feeling confident.
As for voters?
Kelsey notes that are the Hillary Clinton supporters who have been horrified by the past year and are downright giddy at the chance to set off a blue wave while there are President Donald Trump supporters trying to “save the country.”
Then there are the union members who want to save their jobs and think Lamb is the candidate who will look out for them because Saccone has defended “right to work” laws.
And there are union members who want to save their jobs and know that Saccone will back Trump’s tariffs (although Lamb supports them too) and the “America first” agenda to do it.
3:38 P.M. – Analysis: Democrat needs mathematical trifecta to win
An analysis by ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks found that Democrat Conor Lamb needs to pull off an electorate trifecta to win. The math would have to include dramatically boosting Democrat turnout over what it normally would be in a midterm or special election, convincing moderate or swing voters to go blue and hoping for depressed Republican turnout. For more, read here.
6:00 A.M. – The Note: What’s at stake in Pennsylvania’s special election
ABC News’ political team breaks down what’s at stake in the highly watched special election. Rick Klein writes:
It will be up to a deep-red House district today to provide a blueprint – or deliver yet more Democratic blues.
But before anyone heralds a herd of Conor Lambs, where else could a Democrat come close to a seat in Congress while opposing new gun laws, stating his belief that “life begins at conception,” supporting fracking and President Donald Trump’s new tariffs, and vowing never to support Nancy Pelosi in a bid for House Speaker?
Democrats are benefiting from some fortuitous casting with the 33-year-old, telegenic Marine reservist who is running in the special election in southwestern Pennsylvania. (Given state Democratic rules around this special, Lamb was nominated without having to navigate a primary.)
Tens of millions are being spent by both sides for a nine-month rental of a congressional district that won’t even exist next year. It’s a test run for messaging around the GOPtax plan and Pelosi-themed attacks, plus a big test of Trump’s seemingly-clipped coattails.
A Democratic win would be remarkable in district Trump carried by nearly 20 points. But it would also be remarkable for a Democrat to win while sounding and acting so unlike the national Democratic lineup he hopes to join. Read more here.
WATCH LIVE TONIGHT: You can watch livestreaming coverage of Pennsylvania’s special election as part of ABC News’ “18 for 18” coverage of the midterm elections starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABCNews.com or on the ABC News app available on the Apple App Store, GooglePlay Store, Apple TV App Store, and Roku Channel Store. Don’t forget to sign up for Midterm Elections Alerts to get more coverage of this year’s election season as par from our powerhouse politics team.
ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks and Soorin Kim contributed to this report.