For the next few weeks, the Rick Saccone (Republicans) versus Conor Lamb (Democrats) special election for Congress in Pennsylvania will be a litmus test for the upcoming midterms in November.
A first chance for the GOP to see if their tax reform plan has served them well with voters.
“Tax cuts are changing lives,” says one of Rick Saccone’s TV spots, the Republican who’s been endorsed both by President Trump and VP Pence. However, it remains to be seen whether the four-term state representative can persuade tax-cut sceptics, as some are still convinced the tax cuts have only benefited the wealthy.
For example, Mr Mark Marran, currently working as an operations manager for a Fortune 500 company, admits he voted for Donald Trump.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Rick Saccone is running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 18th District. The Democrats are pouring in huge money. The left ISNT PLAYING! Believe them! <br><br>We CANT wait til mid elections to get out and vote when we have special elections taking place NOW! March 13th vote <a href="https://twitter.com/Saccone4PA18?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@saccone4PA18</a> <a href="https://t.co/9sEqwxWWOw">pic.twitter.com/9sEqwxWWOw</a></p>— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) <a href="https://twitter.com/KamVTV/status/963609137706713088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 14, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Asked about the extra $100 in his bimonthly pay check, he responded that the extra cash is nice, but not life-changing.
“A lot of people around here think the tax cuts were a giveaway to the rich.”
That narrative seems to be echoed by other Republican voters in the street. Mr George Smith, an optician who makes $55,000 a year, now gets an extra $120 a month in his paycheck. But he also is convinced that the wealthy are the ones who really scored: “It’s almost like being thrown a bone.”
Some however are very happy with the extra cash. Mr Glen Laufer, living in nearby Bethel Park, says he is thrilled about the extra $120 he saw in his paycheck last month. Just because of that, he’ll vote for Saccone: “This gives the middle class more money, which will make people more willing to spend money.”
Mr Rick Saccone himself meanwhile, is convinced that small business owners and voters are pleased with the extra income, and he has already met a lot of them.
59-year-old Mr Saccone said: “A lot of the benefits have only just begun to accrue.”
“By the time November comes around people are going to be dancing in the street.”