Last week, more than 100 people crowded into an event space at Robert Morris University outside Pittsburgh, anxious to hear a former vice president campaign for a Democratic House candidate in southwestern Pennsylvania's 18th District.
Supporters of Democrat Conor Lamb packed into the edges of the room, near the end of a row of television cameras set up to capture remarks from former Vice President Joe Biden. Reporters mingled with students and retirees and professionals, asking what made them support the Democrat threatening to win Tuesday's special election in a district President Donald Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016.
Trump himself touched down in western Pennsylvania on Saturday, hoping to boost the chances of Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone and help the GOP avoid another embarrassing loss in a typically red area. In freewheeling remarks to supporters, Trump framed a Saccone win as important to the GOP's midterm performance, saying Republicans need to "elect people who are going to back our agenda."