Special election in deep red Pennsylvania district could be bellwether for 2018 midterms

Election shaping up to be closer than expected in district Trump won big.

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Republican candidate Rick Saccone, a 59-year-old veteran, is facing Democrat Conor Lamb, 33, also a veteran, in the March 13 election.

One Saccone supporter told ABC News’ Dan Harris that she likes the Republican because “he says he was Trump before Trump.”

Vice President Mike Pence was in the district that is a mix of suburban and rural areas on Friday to tout his party's candidate, and last month Trump visited the area as well, calling Saccone “a real friend and a spectacular man.”

The Democratic candidate, Lamb, declined to be interviewed by ABC News but told ABC affiliate WTAE in Pittsburgh that he's focusing on reaching voters.

“My strategy is to go straight to the voters and introduce myself and talk to them about the issues that we face here in western Pennsylvania,” Lamb told WTAE. “Not about anyone’s national agenda, but what we need here, and not about the special interests. And that seems to be working so far.”

The race could have national implications.

With at least 41 Republican House members' announcing they are retiring or otherwise not seeking reelection, every seat matters. Democrats need 24 seats to become the majority in the House of Representatives.

In Pennsylvania's 18th District, whoever wins the special election in March will serve only a couple of months before having to run again in May in their party’s respective primary for the 2018 general election and ithen have to win the midterm election in November.

Harris will have much more on this race as part of ABC New’s ‘18 for 18’ midterm coverage, Monday on Nightline.