Will Democrat Surge Continue in Pennsylvania's Special Election?

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A solid Republican showing for Lamb would be a rebuke to Trump, who campaigned for Saccone in the district over the weekend.

"Just because DJT isn't on the ticket does not mean that everything he stands for and represents for the future isn't on the ticket, ok?" the younger Trump told a crowd clad in Americana at the Volunteer Fire Department hall here.

The success of the tax reform bill, which passed without a single Democrat vote, is one of the biggest points of contention in Pennsylvania's hotly contested special election between Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb, who has sided with Republicans on many issues but never budged on tax reform.

Polls show the race between candidates Rick Saccone (R) and Conor Lamb (D) is exceedingly close, with election analysts rating the race a toss-up. And so in the final days, the cavalry has arrived. It raises the question: WIll Trump be an asset for Republicans on the campaign trail, or something of a liability? Saccone and his wife looked on from the side, as a Secret Service agent stared grimly at the chaos.

"I was really down after the presidential election, but Conor has me totally enthusiastic again ... his youth, his energy, his ideas", said Patricia Bancroft, 62, a new retiree who says Lamb is the first political candidate she's ever volunteered for.

That includes the most powerful political pontificator in the land - President Donald Trump. Saccone and his wife, clad in an American flag shawl, also in hair nets, followed along.

The president garnered attention past year when it was reported that he had two scoops of ice cream for desert while dinner guests were limited to one scoop. But as he sat there eating his ice cream sundae, surrounded by cameras, Trump Jr. seemed unable to help himself.

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"We had five to six thousand people in there".

He is among a chorus of conservatives casting Saccone's candidacy as underwhelming.

"You guys have been up and down with poll numbers", Saccone said. "We've gotten used to that, and it's ok". "We just can't be lazy". It would also be a warning to other Republicans that they'll need to put in extra work to ensure that moderate GOP voters in swing states stick with the party this fall. "This election is going to give us insight into that", he said.

Saccone's campaign had not scheduled a press availability before or after the tour.

"I'm a walking poll", Saccone said.

An hour later, Trump Jr. was on stage here at the Volunteer Fire Department, introduced by Saccone.

He described himself as "Trump before Trump was Trump", touting his conservative bona fides and his experience as an Air Force veteran, a state lawmaker and in the private sector. "He's getting beat up down in Washington, DC, not only by the media, but by the bureaucracy and by Hollywood and the late night hosts".

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Lamb's team has raised almost $4 million throughout the campaign, compared to just $920,000 on Saccone's side, and both men have had high-profile politicians visiting Pennsylvania to stump for them.

The United Mine Workers of America have given Lamb their full-throated endorsement, with the union's president Cecil Roberts proclaiming, "You can't let out-of-state millionaires outwork coal miners, outwork steelworkers and outwork schoolteachers".

At the President's Sunday rally, many attendees said they remained steadfast in Trump's corner despite his controversies, giving party leaders confidence that the tariff push and Trump visit could keep the seat red. "And they have a hatred for our president. It's for the people of western Pennsylvania", Saccone said.

But Mr Lamb's local campaign has pulled in more money than Mr Saccone's, and is riding a tide of grassroots enthusiasm that has brought Mr Lamb within striking distance of his more experienced opponent. A group sporting shirts that read "Vote for Rick: Chinese Americans 3 Trump", chanted "Build the wall!"

Recent polls have shown either candidate in the lead.

"The one thing that my father has lied about, and I'm sorry, I've got to say it".

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