"This district has voted overwhelmingly Republican in recent elections, but a large number of these voters have blue-collar Democratic roots. Lamb seems to have connected with them," Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Republicans look to avoid a potentially embarrassing loss in a district Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016. While the district will no longer exist as it is drawn now when Pennsylvania's new congressional map takes effect for November's midterm elections, the result of the race could affect fundraising, recruitment and party morale as the major parties battle for control of Congress this year.
The race has drawn national media attention, campaign stops from President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden and massive spending from Republican outside groups and Democratic donors. The election is considered a dead heat. Two separate polls of the race released this month showed each Saccone and Lamb with a three-point edge, within both polls' margins of error.
Here are some of the other findings in the Monmouth poll of the 18th District released Monday:
- Among self-identified Democrats, 95 percent support Lamb and 5 percent back Saccone. Among those who say they are Republicans, 88 percent back Saccone and 9 percent support Lamb.
- Lamb has a 51 percent to 45 percent edge among independents, the survey says.
- Trump's move to put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports appears not to have done much to change likely voters' minds. Only 3 percent said the actions moved them toward backing Saccone, while 1 percent responded that the tariffs made them more likely to support Lamb. Ninety-six percent said the actions did not change their opinion on the race. Both candidates gave at least qualified support for the tariffs.
- Likely voters were divided on Trump, with an even 49 percent saying they approved and disapproved of the president.
The telephone poll taken from March 8 to March 11 has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.