Jewish groups that helped Conor Lamb win cheer his upset victory

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption This is why US gun laws probably won't change

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption This is why US gun laws probably won't change

In an ominous sign for Trump's Republicans eight months before national midterm elections, moderate Democrat Conor Lamb led conservative Republican Rick Saccone by a fraction of a percentage point in the race for the seat in the US House of Representatives.

The patchwork of small towns, farms and suburbs of Pittsburgh that make up Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district is so Republican that Democrats did not even bother to field candidates in the previous two USA congressional elections.

While a recount is not mandatory in a close House election, Saccone's team has not ruled out the potential of legal maneuvers to hold up the declaration of a Lamb victory.

Lamb basically ran as a Republican.

The four counties in the Pittsburgh-area district reported they had about 375 uncounted provisional, military and overseas ballots.

Absentee votes counted from Greene County on Wednesday put the difference between the two candidates at 627 votes.

"We're actively investigating three instances and likely to file court action on them", the source said. "I don't think that [my leadership] really had that much impact on the race", she insisted, instead calling the victory a result of "the bankruptcy of the Republican Party".

With the last batch of absentee ballots counted, Democrat Conor Lamb is maintaining a slim lead in southwest Pennsylvania as Republicans consider their legal options for a recount in the special congressional election.

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Democrats are claiming victory in a special congressional election in a Pennsylvania Republican heartland, a vote seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump's performance, although the vote yesterday remained officially too close to call.

But Republicans have brought a lawsuit to impound the ballots and have started an ad campaign to ask voters if they experienced any irregularities on Tuesday night, according to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Republican leaders also touted the tax reform plan and sought to portray how taxpayers would be affected if Democrats took control and passed their own tax plan. But this centrist, anti-Pelosi strategy has now worked for a party other than the Republican one, and there are many Democrats who wonder if that's a victor in their district, too. "So when you arrive in Washington, assuming you do win this election, do you think Nancy Pelosi should go?" "Just tell people what you have in your heart and in your plan for them".

But Mr Lamb, a pro-gun Democrat with strong backing from unions, has since surged in polls as Democratic voters sensed a chance to show their opposition to Mr Trump.

Many predicted a fairly comfortable win for Lamb, but Trump's visit helped, just not enough.

The loss sent shockwaves through Republican ranks, with Republican Speaker Paul Ryan labelling the defeat a "wakeup call" in a meeting with Republican House members, while The New York Times reported that "Republicans are on edge" after the result.

They over-performed in five special elections in deep-red districts a year ago, including in Georgia, Montana and SC. Lamb even had some Republicans swooning, with Laura Ingraham calling him a "young Tom Cotton", and Bill Kristol opining that Lamb's "natural home" was in "a sane GOP". "That might seem like a shallow thing to hang your support on, but, in the end, I saw that the genuine concern for the people he was representing was a more important quality than a particular stance on a particular issue".

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