Many people who had been following the GOP Pennsylvania Senate primary-- over 5 days from now-- assumed it was between the 2 out-of-state oligarchal phonies, television clown Dr. Oz and hedge fund crook David McCormick. But, into the final stretch, the actual real live Trump-emulating fascist in the race, MAGA-lunatic Kathy Barnette, suddenly lurches into the top two, a tiny bit behind Dr. Oz. Panic! at the Republican disco. The Party establishment has become unhinged over the top of their ticket-- two full-on fascists campaigning as a team-- Barnette for the Senate seat and psychopath Doug Mastriano for governor. Both could easily win a Trumpified primary. Neither would be likely to win a general election.
Former Rep Lou Barletta, a very far right xenophobic extremist himself, looks vaguely mainstream-- very vaguely-- compared to Mastriano, so one of the also-rans in the gubernatorial race, state Sen. Jake Corman, ended his campaign and endorsed Barletta to try to stop Mastriano. I doubt that will work. For one thing, the latest poll, by GOP firm Trafalgar, shows that even if every single Corman voter who hasn't voted yet, migrates ti Barletta, which isn't going to happen anyway, it would still not be enough to beat Mastriano:
The Associated Press reported today that "Corman’s name will remain on ballots statewide, and mail-in voting has been underway for weeks. It’s unclear what, if any, effect Corman’s decision to end his campaign will have on the race, since polls have showed him gaining little traction. Mastriano has shown strength in recent polls, while being a prominent peddler of conspiracy theories, including Trump’s false claims that widespread fraud marred the 2020 election and resulted in his loss in Pennsylvania. Mastriano also floated a plan to overturn the election results, helping draw a subpoena from the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol."
For weeks, party officials behind the scenes have urged candidates in what was originally a 10-deep field to step aside and coalesce around one candidate to help defeat Mastriano. One dropped out early enough in the race to remove his name from ballots, but eight candidates still remain.
Both Corman and Barletta declined to say why they think Mastriano cannot beat the presumptive Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Barletta acknowledged Thursday that there is very little in policy difference between him and Mastriano. Rather, he pointed to his experience winning elections as mayor in small-city Hazleton and in winning four terms in Congress.
Mastriano earlier this week said the Republican establishment “is in a panic mode” at the prospect that he will be the party’s nominee. Meanwhile, two other Republicans who remain in the race, Bill McSwain and Dave White, derided the Corman-Barletta alliance as one career politician endorsing another career politician.
Meanwhile, reporting for the NY Times today, Michael Bender took on Trump's role in this Pennsylvania GOP circus, sticking a shiv in Barnette's back. Look at this, a full grown smear against a far right Black MAGA woman:
After Trump's mystery-smear, CNN reported on what he was getting at-- namely her record of Islamophobia and homophobia, things that don't much bother Republicans, let alone MAGA Republicans. "In one speech uploaded to YouTube in 2015, Barnette forcefully argued it was OK to discriminate against Muslims and compared rejecting Islam to '... rejecting Hitler's or Stalin's worldviews.' In comments on her radio show, she said accepting homosexuality would lead to the accepting of incest and pedophilia. One post she wrote called a transgender person 'deformed' and 'demonic'... Two men sleeping together, two men holding hands, two men caressing, that is not normal,' she said on her radio show in July 2015, when a Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage."
"Barnett’s momentum in the polls," wrote Bender, "has jeopardized Trump’s second attempt to influence the primary race, which comes to a close on Tuesday. He endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz, a longtime television host, after his first choice for the seat, Sean Parnell, suspended his campaign in November amid a court battle over the custody of his children... Her climb has surprised many watching the Pennsylvania race-- including Trump, who never seriously considered supporting her before he announced his endorsement of Dr. Oz less than five weeks ago, according to two people familiar with the decision who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private conversations."