A Democrat in Pennsylvania Shows the Way into Trump Country

The strong performance of the Democrat in a special House election in Southwest Pennsylvania, once a stronghold for President Trump, has emboldened Democrats to run maverick campaigns this fall even in deep-red areas where Republicans remain bedeviled by Mr. Trump’s unpopularity.

The battle for a district in suburban and rural areas around Pittsburgh, which Mr. Trump carried by nearly 20 percentage points in 2016, exposed the degree to which both parties are weighted down by divisive leaders: Democrats by Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader; Republicans by Mr. Trump and Paul D. Ryan, the speaker of the House.

In Pennsylvania, Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old Marine Corps veteran from a local Democratic dynasty, said early that he would not support Ms. Pelosi to lead House Democrats and played down his connections to his national party.

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