Republicans sounded alarm bells on Wednesday after Democrats claimed victory in a Pennsylvania congressional election seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s performance, although the final vote result remained officially too close to call.
In an ominous sign for Trump’s Republicans eight months before national midterm elections, moderate Democrat Conor Lamb led conservative Republican Rick Saccone by a fraction of a percentage point in the race for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The final result may not be available until Friday.
The election should have been a shoo-in for Republicans.
Trump actively campaigned for Saccone, who started the race well ahead of Lamb in a district Trump won by almost 20 points in the 2016 presidential election.
Republican Speaker Paul Ryan called the election a “wakeup call” in a meeting with Republican House members on Wednesday and pushed them to raise more campaign funding.
He also urged them to do more to highlight tax cuts approved by the Republican-dominated Congress and signed by Trump.