A surge by conservative commentator Kathy Barnette has scupmished Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate Primary just days before voters head into the polls. This is shaking up one of this years crucial midterm-election contests.
Barnette, who’s supported by the anti-tax group Club for Growth and who has made anti-Islamic and anti-gay remarks, has edged out former Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick in polls, and is narrowly behind frontrunner Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor endorsed by ex-President Donald Trump.
Pennsylvania, alongside Arizona, Ohio, and other battleground states, will determine control of the Senate. The House of Representatives is expected to be retaken by the Republicans. Betting-market odds give the GOP a high chance of winning the Senate. PredictIt sees a 76% chance for Republican control of the Senate, and 86% for the GOP taking the House.
Ahead of Tuesday’s primary, meanwhile, Barnette’s rise has Trump redoubling his efforts for Oz, saying in a statement on Thursday: “Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats.” The ex-president said Barnette has “many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted,” without giving examples. Trump stated that he would support her in the long-term.
On the Democratic side, polling indicates that Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman leads his closest challenger, Rep. Conor Lamb, by a wide margin. Fetterman backs legalizing recreational marijuana
and is a criminal-justice reform advocate who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, in the 2016 presidential race.
On her Twitter feed and in her biography, Barnette describes herself as an anti-establishment candidate who grew up in poverty, and authored the book “Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: Being Black and Conservative in America.” Barnette, if elected, would be the first Black Republican woman to ever serve in the U.S. Senate, according to the Associated Press.
President Joe Biden’s agenda could be hampered if it loses control of both chambers. As MarketWatch has reported, analysts have said Democrats’ loss of Congress could mean an increase in attempts by the executive branch to regulate sectors including banks