Voters in southwest Pennsylvania are heading to the polls Tuesday for a special election. Democrats, looking to take back the majority in Congress next year, are hoping a high-profile win in Pennsylvania’s 18th District will give them a boost in the heart of Trump country. Republicans are hoping to avoid an embarrassing defeat in a district that has voted Republican since 2002.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Polls in the district are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.
  • The candidates — Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone — are in a tough fight in which outside groups have spent over $12 million ‘
  • The seat opened up when former GOP Rep. Tim Murphy resigned in October after the anti-abortion Republican allegedly urged a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion.
  • President Donald Trump won the district by about 20 points in 2016. A defeat for Republicans here won’t only be embarrassing symbolically, it also will send shock waves to vulnerable Republicans around the country and could spur retirements by other Republicans in Congress.
  • An automatic recount will occur if the margin between the candidates is 0.5% or less. Recounts by permits and partial recounts are allowed as well.
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Voters in southwest Pennsylvania are heading to the polls Tuesday for a special election. Democrats, looking to take back the majority in Congress next year, are hoping a high-profile win in Pennsylvania's 18th District will give them a boost in the heart of Trump country. Republicans are hoping to...