Mar 13, 2018, 2:23 PM ET

Meet Conor Lamb, the Democrat looking to nab a seat in Trump country

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Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old Democrat Marine Corps captain has mounted a surprisingly competitive bid deep in Trump country as he seeks to win a House seat in the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District's special election.

If Lamb wins, he could become one of the most conservative Democrats in office.

It is also a race that has nabbed national attention and is seen as a bellwether for the 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump's political influence and the Democratic party's ability to deliver a message that their candidates can be competitive anywhere in the country.

In a district Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016 some polls show the race within 5 points.

What he stands for

The former assistant U.S. attorney has vocally expressed his personal views on abortion and gun control and supported President Trump’s recent steel and aluminum tariff legislation. He says he is a proud Catholic who opposes abortion but doesn’t believe his personal views should impact legislation.

Lamb supports affordable health care and as a federal prosecutor worked closely with families whose loved ones were victims of the opioid crisis.

PHOTO: Conor Lamb, Democratic Congressional candidate for Pennsylvanias 18th district, greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally with United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) at the Greene County Fairgrounds, March 11, 2018, in Waynesburg, Penn.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Conor Lamb, Democratic Congressional candidate for Pennsylvania's 18th district, greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally with United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) at the Greene County Fairgrounds, March 11, 2018, in Waynesburg, Penn.

Lamb has also said he would work with the current administration to get the job done and that he won't support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to lead Democrats in that chamber if he is elected.

On the campaign trail

Lamb fundraising prowess has helped him maintain a competitive edge.

He has raised nearly $3.3 million during the first two months of the year. By contrast, Lamb’s opponent, Rick Saccone has raised $917,892 during the same time period. Outside groups have invested $1.7 million so far into Lamb’s campaign - Saccone has raised nearly $10.3 million in super PACs and outside groups.

A poll conducted by Monmouth University show the race as incredibly close.

PHOTO: Conor Lamb, Democratic Congressional candidate for Pennsylvanias 18th district, and the audience recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a campaign rally with United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), March 11, 2018, in Waynesburg, Penn.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Conor Lamb, Democratic Congressional candidate for Pennsylvania's 18th district, and the audience recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a campaign rally with United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), March 11, 2018, in Waynesburg, Penn.

Democrats are rooting for Lamb's bid to win the congressional seat and he has garnered support from political figures like former Vice President Joe Biden, who campaigned alongside Lamb at Robert Morris University in Moon, Pennsylvania last week.

“The impact would be profound. I promise if you if he wins you’re going to see probably another half a dozen Republicans say they’re not running again,” Biden told the crowd of supporters.

Still, he faces tough math to claim a win.

An ABC analysis found that Lamb would need to outdo former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in votes in both red and blue areas from the 2016 primary.

His opponent

Rick Saccone, the 60-year-old four-term Pennsylvania state representative comes with decades of experience — a point he makes regularly. He served in the United States Air Force as a special agent and is a former diplomatic representative in North Korea during President George W. Bush's adminsitration.

President Trump, who recently agreed to meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, rallied outside of Pittsburgh Saturday for Saccone.

PHOTO: Democratic congressional candidate Conor Lamb listens as former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a rally in support of, March 6, 2018, at the Union Carpenters Training Center in Pittsburgh, Penn. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
Democratic congressional candidate Conor Lamb listens as former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a rally in support of, March 6, 2018, at the Union Carpenters Training Center in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Trump also had a few choice words about Lamb.

“And Conor lamb, lamb the sham, lamb the sham, he's trying to act like a Republican so he gets — he won't give me one vote. I don't know him. Looks like a nice guy. I hear he's nice looking,” Trump said.

Trump accused Lamb of trying to “act like a Republican.”

The president even touted how if he met Lamb, Saccone might be angry.

"I might like him. And then Rick is going to be very angry at me,” Trump said.

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.

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  • Snorlaxation

    Doesn't believe his opinions on those topics should influence legislation. How refreshing.
    Even if I don't agree with all his opinions (i'm pro choice and support guns for Home Defense) he seems pretty ok. Hopefully he supports lgbt communities too in spite of his religion

  • Billy Bob Smith

    March...going out with a Lamb!

  • Bud Simpson

    “And Conor lamb, lamb the sham, lamb the sham, he's trying to act like a Republican so he gets — he won't give me one vote. I don't know him. Looks like a nice guy. I hear he's nice looking,” Trump said.

    Trump accused Lamb of trying to “act like a Republican.”

    The president even touted how if he met Lamb, Saccone might be angry.

    "I might like him. And then Rick is going to be very angry at me,” Trump said.

    What the heck is wrong with Trump? One thing no one has suggested, but may be extremely valid, is Trump just might be insane. Start looking at what he's done, how he's conducted himself in office and what he's said.

    ...would a sane person do those things, say those things, conduct himself like that?

    You tell me.

  • kritikosman

    Lookin' good too--in spite of the mad man, his son and that gun group,....etc. #ohwell #wakeupcall

  • Richard

    When I look at the people of Pennsylvania that are supporting Trump, I see people with no moral character who are oblivious to the facts about their idol Trump. They seem to mindlessly support him and they don't want to be confused with details and facts. They are the type of people that are destroying the country.

  • P-dizzle

    Lamb sounds like a solid citizen, Saccone has evil tones, Trump continues to sound like fool.

  • bromeando

    My kind of candidate.

  • Nowthatsinteresting

    I think Lamb needs some opposition research that shows his opponent pulled the pigtails of some girl in third grade 40 years ago to secure a win.

  • virgillionhere

    Lamb, the marine and asst us attorney, or as the right would call him, that pinko commie loving traitor

  • Michael Perriello

    Far from "Trump Country" in this district. 80pct of population lives within 25 min of downtown Pittsburgh(Which is heavy democratic). More like 50/50 country. Trump won big in that area but Western Pa still bleeds just as much blue.

  • Hank R

    Interesting he is running with an anti-Pelosi message. I wonder if she will be the Speaker if democrats take over the House.

  • Trumpet

    “Looks like a nice guy. I hear he's nice looking,” Trump said.

    Nice try trump, you are not allowed in his dressing room

  • ohyes2011

    Every time trump opens his mouth he shows what an unlikable person he is.

  • ctla567

    Trump was hoping steel and aluminum tariff could help his GOP candidate and after the election is done who knows Trump would change his tariff position. Because nobody wins by imposing tariff. If US trading partners start to impose tariff on US goods then many American goods would have problems selling abroad. That is not good at all. American steel industries could be more efficient only if they would restructure themselves like making themselves less top heavy. Learn from and compare themselves with steel industries abroad on technology and management.

  • 1980Gardener

    The district has more registered Dems than Republicans - this shouldn't be as schocking as folks make it out to be. simply because Dems voted for Trump doesn't mean they stopped being Dems.

  • FlorMedDoc

    It makes little difference if Lamb wins or loses if he can close the gap by 15% it bodes well for the Blue Wave in November,

    Trump won by 20 points but State wide by a minuscule 0.6%...The Blue Tsunami is unstoppable

  • TheTyrannyOfTheMajority

    Is this “news” or politicking?

    Where’s the “Meet Rick Saccone“ article?

    Sad that ABC calls this “news” instead of a free political advertisement.

  • Chuck

    The republican adds are DEPLORABLE. Nothing but lie after lie after lie. I guess it trickles down from the top. Liars all around. Connor Lamb has dignity, respect, and professionalism unlike seen in every last one of these runoff elections from the right.

  • Jack25

    Lamb is a cool guy. This is what we need, young people in office. Enough of the old white dudes.

  • FlorMedDoc

    Since Trump was elected very little progress on the job front has been seen in the coal & Steel industries. In fact one coal mine announced last month it was closing laying off 500 employees. The job growth in the area was higher under Obama ...

  • Chuck

    Hopefully we won't have to live with the moniker Pennsyltucky. GO CONNOR LAMB!!!! HE IS BRILLIANT!!! Makes Sickcone look like a CLOTUS wannabe.

  • John Michael Davis

    This right here is why you should vote for Lamb;-----------------Outside groups have invested $1.7 million so far into Lamb’s campaign - Saccone has raised nearly $10.3 million in super PACs and outside groups.

  • Blue Wave

    It's the Huckabee Comedy Hour!

  • Red Hawk

    He says he is a proud Catholic who opposes abortion but doesn’t believe his personal views should impact legislation.== Which is the same position as Pennsylvania's Democrat Senator