Win or lose in Pennsylvania, the national Republican establishment will hold up Rick Saccone as the poster child for having strong candidates in November's midterms, the Washington Examiner reported.
While some are pointing to the special election in western Pennsylvania as a bellwether for Republicans in November, the money guys have a single point to harp on — it's all about the candidate.
"To be successful, we need good candidates who run strong campaigns," Corry Bliss, executive director of Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), told the Examiner.
"It's not nice to say this, but the Saccone campaign was a joke. The way this is supposed to work, the campaign gets to the 20-yard line, and we can help get them to the end zone, but in this case, the campaign couldn't find the field," Bliss told the Examiner.
The super PAC CLF poured $3.5 million into the District 18 race in support of Saccone while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) threw in another $4 million, just to see Saccone cough it up in a dead-red district that President Donald Trump won by 20 points in 2016.
"Candidates matter; outside organizations aren't a welfare program. CLF and the NRCC can't tell your story as effectively as you can," a senior Republican strategist involved in the Pennsylvania special election told the Examiner.
Saccone is down a few hundred votes in a race that has yet to be called officially for Democrat Conor Lamb.
Saccone's camp, as well as the national party, are vowing to challenge the results and, more than likely, push for a recount.
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