False
Trump
Says Pennsylvania Republican nominee for Congress Fred Keller "was a 50-50 shot" before his landslide victory.

Donald Trump on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 in remarks in the Rose Garden

No, Pennsylvania special election winner was not in 50-50 race

President Donald Trump delivers a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 22, 2019. (AP)

President Donald Trump lashed out at the press in the Rose Garden for not giving sufficient coverage to a congressional special election victory by a Republican candidate in northeastern Pennsylvania.

"We had an election for Fred Keller, who was a 50-50 shot, and he won in a landslide," Trump said in the hastily arranged news conference May 22.

Keller, a Republican state representative, did win in a landslide — by a 68-32% margin over Penn State professor Marc Friedenberg. But Keller’s chances of winning were not rated 50-50 before the election — not by a long shot.

After Keller’s victory, Fox News reported, "Tuesday's result is no surprise, as the 12th District is solidly Republican and voters there backed Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election by a margin of better than 2 to 1 over Democrat Hillary Clinton."

Inside Elections’ Nathan Gonzales, one of the nation’s major political handicappers, rated the contest Solid Republican, the safest category on his rating scale.

In addition, Politico reported that "the race drew little attention from national Democrats."

The seat became vacant when Republican Rep. Tom Marino resigned from Congress in January after winning by a 32-point margin in November 2018. He said he would be taking a private-sector job.

Our ruling

Trump said Keller "was a 50-50 shot" before his landslide victory.

Keller was running in a deeply Republican district and was considered by independent political analysts to be the prohibitive favorite. He was not someone running in a coin-flip race. We rate the statement False.

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False
Says Pennsylvania Republican nominee for Congress Fred Keller "was a 50-50 shot" before his landslide victory.
remarks in the Rose Garden
Wednesday, May 22, 2019