NEW YORK — To a degree that surpasses any other 2022 midterm race thus far, Donald Trump has poured his personal prestige into the Republican primary race for the Pennsylvania senate, which is undergoing a final spasm of uncertainty. when Kathy Barnette, an insurgent candidate with a slim resume, provides a last-minute scare for Trump’s candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
The outcome of that election, as well as the gubernatorial bid, threatens to implode the state’s GOP, with a blast radius that could be felt as far afield as Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina in the coming weeks and months.
The turbulence also has important implications for Trump’s control of the party, which is increasingly alarmed that the former president’s participation in the primary could ruin Republican chances of winning back the Senate despite President Biden’s unpopularity.
Trump endorsed Oz, a famous doctor, on the advice of many Republicans inside and outside of Pennsylvania. The bill is about to expire, those Republicans now say.
Many of Trump’s own voters have expressed skepticism about Oz, who has fended off millions of dollars in negative publicity highlighting his past Republican heterodoxies on issues as varied as abortion and gun rights. As of Monday, Oz leads by nearly three percentage points in the RealClearPolitics polling average in the primary, which roughly matches the latest Oz campaign daily tracking poll.
It’s unclear how late-deciding Republicans will ultimately vote, though a new Susquehanna University poll found that 45 percent of respondents who had made a decision “in the last few days” backed Barnette.
A late backup.
On Saturday, Trump finally endorsed Doug Mastriano, a retired military conspiracy theorist who is leading in the polls in the gubernatorial race, in an apparent attempt to hedge his bets.
“He’s clearly upset that he’s not doing well,” said David Urban, a political operative and an early Trump supporter who led the former president’s efforts to win Pennsylvania in the 2016 election.
Ben Oakley is the guy you can really trust when it comes to Mainstream News. Whether it is something happening at the Wall Street of New York City or inside the White House in Washington, D.C., no one can cover mainstream news like Ben. Get a daily dose of Trustworthy News by Ben Oakley, only at Globe Live Media.