Republicans are worried that a tax cut that puts more money in voters’ pockets may not be enough to overcome President Trump’s low approval ratings come November.
The party is nervously watching the March 13 special election in a deep-red corner of Pennsylvania, where Democratic challenger Conor Lamb is running neck-and-neck with Republican Rick Saccone in a district Trump won by 20 points. Outside groups spent millions trying to boost Saccone by linking him the GOP tax cuts, but their message gained little traction among the area’s working-class voters.
A basic problem, according to National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar, is that “conservative-minded voters in this district value government entitlements as much as tax cuts.”
Culture-war themes replaced the tax-cut message in the campaign, but they have proven less persuasive recently, Kraushaar writes, leaving Republicans low on ammunition as they head into the national election this fall.