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Can the Republicans avoid embarrassment in Pennsylvania?

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ATOP a hill sits St Bernard, a Catholic church with glorious murals depicting scenes from the book of Revelation. Next to it is the similarly impressive Mount Lebanon Evangelical Presbyterian church. And to its right is the Mount Lebanon United Methodist church. Worshippers at the three adjoining grand churches in this hilly suburb of Pittsburgh are assiduous Christians, mostly middle- and working-class and overwhelmingly white. They are pretty representative of the electorate of Pennsylvania’s bizarrely shaped 18th congressional district, which consists of a slice of Pittsburgh’s suburbs and a slew of small rural manufacturing towns.

PA-18 should be a shoo-in for the Republican Party at a special election on March 13th. Tim Murphy, the Republican congressman who represented the district for eight terms, did not even have an opponent when he ran in 2014 and 2016. The avid pro-lifer, who was popular with the district’s churchgoers, was compelled to resign last year after revelations that he asked a woman half his age to abort their unborn…Continue reading

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