Pres. Trump Reiterates Firm Stance on Penalties For Drug Dealers

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On the map below, each dot represents a 25-vote Trump or Clinton margin at a precinct in the current 18th Congressional District.

Trump endorsed Saccone in January and Republican groups have spent more than $10 million on the race to support Saccone, who is now losing to Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor who is running for the congressional election as a centrist Democrat. Their investment comes despite the fact that the district as now drawn will cease to exist by this November because of a gerrymandering case that requires the state's districts be redrawn.

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that China's President Xi Jinping first got him thinking about introducing the death penalty for drugs dealers. "The scary thing for vulnerable House Republicans this year is that neither the National Republican Congressional Committee nor [aligned super PAC] seem to have any clue what to do about it", Tyler Law, spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee told ABC News in an email.

Both candidates in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned last fall while enmeshed in a sex scandal, back the President's decision on the import duties. "You kill 5,000 people with drugs because you're smuggling them in and you are making a lot of money and people are dying. Loves 2nd A & VETS".

Trump drew an enthusiastic crowd in the Pennsylvania district that he won by roughly 20 percent. Big & happy crowd (why not, some of the best economic numbers ever).

"And to all the military out there, we respect you very much, thank you", Trump said mockingly. "The Republican Party is the Trump party right now".

But Republicans reject the idea that this race is somehow indicative of broader political trends.

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Trump has recently come out in support of executing drugs dealers, suggesting that the punishment could be used to help tackle the opioid crisis.

The president says Saccone's Democratic opponent - Marine Corps veteran Conor Lamb - "will always vote for Pelosi and Dems".

"It's working for him and he's not changing", said Alex Patton, a GOP political consultant and pollster.

But while both sides have decided that the race is worth digging deep into their pocketbooks, the fact remains that, unlike Virginia and part of Georgia where candidates also went head to head past year, this area in Pennsylvania voted solidly and overwhelmingly Republican in 2016. The U.S. criminal justice system, Trump said, is too soft on drugs. The PAC has two field offices in western Pennsylvania and 50 people on the ground, knocking on doors on behalf of Saccone, an enormous investment for a single House race. He campaigned with Lamb Thursday.

Supporters cheer for Conor Lamb, Democratic congressional candidate for Pennsylvania's 18th District, at a rally at the United Steelworkers Building, March 9, 2018, in Pittsburgh. Doug Jones' (D-AL) shocking win late a year ago, and said he'd rarely seen Democratic enthusiasm that strong for a down-ticket race - until Lamb came along.

Who is running for Murphy's seat?

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By that stage the action on the pitch had become nearly incidental with fans directing their anger at the club's chiefs. We were fine, they were just voicing their frustration".