Republicans are on the verge of losing a congressional district where Trump won by 20 percent. So they're trashing their own candidate to save face.
Democratic candidate and Marine veteran Conor Lamb has taken the lead in another poll against Republican Rick Saccone in the special election race for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, leading 48 to 44 percent. Lamb's surge is a major warning sign for Republicans, especially since Trump won the district by 20 percent in 2016.
Trump is scheduled to campaign on Saccone's behalf and has been raising money for him, but many Republicans already seem to be throwing in the towel.
Politico reports that after speaking to "nearly two dozen administration officials, senior House Republicans and top party strategists" the Republican "was nearly universally panned as a deeply underwhelming candidate."
Republicans complained to the outlet about his choice of a political strategist and his "amateur-style social media feed," which "included low-quality videos of him at a local bar and yukking it up with Santa."
Trump himself has reportedly been describing Saccone as "less than ideal" after he met him at a White House event, according to insiders.
Apparently, some White House officials have been advising Trump to cancel his campaign trip to back the candidate, fearing he'll once again end up with egg on his face for backing a losing candidate.
Trump has repeatedly struck out on the campaign trail. He backed Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race, only to see him lose to Democrat Northam. And despite credible allegations of pedophilia, Trump and other Republicans stuck by Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, who lost to Democrat Doug Jones.
Lamb is surging in the heart of Trump country — in the Pennsylvania race where the GOP was forced to quietly remove it's failing tax bill ads. He has outraised his Republican competitor by five-to-one, and is on the verge of creating another humiliation for Trump.
Even if Saccone pulls out a narrow victory, events are trending against the right, and now the GOP is willing to trash their own candidate in a transparent attempt to minimize the fallout.