Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone lost — again.
For the second time in as many months, Saccone has come up short. After losing to Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) in a district President Donald Trump carried by 20 points, Saccone failed to secure the Republican nomination in Tuesday's primary for the newly formed and solidly Republican 14th District.
Saccone was defeated by Pennsylvania state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler in Tuesday's primary race. The twice-failed candidate had bested Reschenthaler for the Republican nomination in his earlier special election race but came up short on Tuesday — losing by almost 11 points.
But Saccone's loss could be comforting to some Republicans, giving them backing to argue that Lamb's surprise victory in March was a result of Saccone's weaknesses as a candidate and not shifting opinion in the Trump-heavy district.
Even Trump reportedly badmouthed Saccone behind closed doors, calling him “weak” ahead of a joint rally the two held in March, according to Axios.
“I don't think we could have fought any harder,” Saccone told supporters after his second loss:
— An-Li Herring (@anliherring) May 16, 2018
Lamb, who narrowly bested Saccone in March, had a much easier primary night on Tuesday. The Pennsylvania Democrat ran uncontested in the newly created Pennsylvania 17th District and will face Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), who currently serves Pennsylvania's 12th District.
The three-term Republican congressman moves from a relatively safe Republican district to a newly created district where Trump only won by 2.5 points. Rothfus' old district voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton by 20 points in the 2016 presidential election.
With Lamb already having succeeded in a heavily pro-Trump district, Rothfus could be in trouble when he faces Lamb in the November general election.