LOS ANGELES — President Trump was hanging out here in the land of earthquakes, but he was 2,500 miles away from the tremor that really shook his party on Tuesday night.
While the president hobnobbed with wealthy donors in the exclusive enclave of Beverly Park, the voters in the suburbs south of Pittsburgh were in revolt, giving the Democratic candidate a narrow lead in a special election in Pennsylvania that was taking on outsize proportions.
While Republican turnout in a district that Mr. Trump won by 20 percentage points was healthy, Democrats showed once again that they could tap unions and other traditionally friendly groups to get their voters out in droves. The N.A.A.C.P. helped win Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Alabama Senate seat for Doug Jones in December. Organized labor, once seen as fractured and feckless in the Trump era, gave the Democrat Conor Lamb his lead in Pennsylvania overnight.Just as they did outside Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala., in December, and Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C., in November, energized and angry suburban voters were swamping the Trump stalwarts in the more rural parts of those regions, sending a clear message to Republicans around the country.
Voters who turned out for Donald Trump in 2016 appeared to turn on his chosen House candidate Tuesday, helping Conor Lamb, the Democrat, take a slight lead.