PA Special Election: Lamb is pro-choice in a red district | UK Progressive

PA Special Election: Lamb is pro-choice in a red district

Conor Lamb is a Marine, talks tough on crime, and sounds downright Republican on an issue like natural gas fracking — exactly the type of politician Democrats have traditionally turned to when contesting elections in deeply conservative areas.

But the Democratic nominee in this right-leaning southwest Pennsylvania House district differs in at least one important way: He supports abortion rights.

Lamb is not an outlier, not anymore. Nine months from Day, political veterans eyeing the House landscape struggle to even identify a single Democratic House hopeful — of the hundreds running — who openly opposes abortion rights.

Their absence is a significant development for a party in places such as western Pennsylvania, where Democrats even recently would run self-identified “pro-life” candidates (the state’s Democratic Senator Bob Casey Jr., in fact, opposes abortion rights in some circumstances). And it’s reshaping the cultural agenda of a party that, on everything from immigration to guns, has moved decidedly to the left in the last decade – to the chagrin of some who worry it’s reducing their appeal to some right-leaning voters.

“I’ve been on the job for 15 years,” said Kristen Day, executive director for Democrats for Life, a group that supports Democratic candidates who oppose abortion rights. “And this is the most difficult it’s been.”

Day added: “I don’t know what’s going to happen to pro-life Democrats.”

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