NBC

Pennsylvania Race Offers Midterm Lesson for Democrats

"We can win even the reddest districts if we recruit candidates who fit them," said Democratic strategist Lis Smith.

A national model for victory in the midterms for Democrats looks and sounds a lot more like Conor Lamb than the lions of the left, NBC News says in an analysis of Wednesday's apparent upset win by Lamb in Pennsylvania.

If the special election squeaker holds up — Lamb led by 641 votes with absentee ballots still being counted and Rick Saccone unwilling to concede — it will be a Trump-country coup for Democrats.

They won't need to capture districts as once solidly Republican as Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District to take control of the House. But they will need to field an army of candidates who run disciplined, well-funded campaigns and figure out how to harness Democrats' energy without inflaming Republicans.

"We can win even the reddest districts if we recruit candidates who fit them," said Democratic strategist Lis Smith. "We cannot and should not expect Democrats who run in Western Pennsylvania to espouse West Village political views."

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