PITTSBURGH — In 2016, then-Reps. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., and Tom Marino, R-Pa., became the first sitting members of Congress to endorse then-candidate Donald Trump for president. Their colleagues in Washington gave them the side-eye. Barletta told me at the time that when that didn’t work, their colleagues tried to talk them out of it.

It didn’t work. The two traveled throughout the state and sometimes in other states, earning the nickname “Thunder and Lightning” from Trump on the trail. It turned out they were onto something. They broke the streak that year of Republican presidential candidates losing Pennsylvania, which had been intact since 1992.

Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst, and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.