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Pennsylvania, North Carolina hosts key competitions

HARISBURG, PA – Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday faces the strongest test so far for his ability to form a new generation of Republicans, while voters in Pennsylvania and North Carolina decide whether to unite around his hand-picked choice for critical seats in the US Senate.

As this year’s midterm season enters its busiest race with races in Kentucky, Oregon and Idaho, Trump is poised for a few easy wins. In North Carolina, US envoy Ted Bud is expected to overcome a crowded field of Republican rivals, including a former governor. And in the Republican Party of Pennsylvania’s race for governor, far-right contender Doug Mastriano was already leading before Trump backed him over the weekend.

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But Trump’s preferred candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate, Mehmet Oz, has divided conservatives who are usually in step with Trump. Some are suspicious of the ideological leanings of the famous cardiac surgeon, who gained fame as a guest of honor on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. Oz spent much of the campaign in a heated battle with former hedge fund CEO David McCormick. This allowed commentator Katie Barnett to emerge in the final days of the primary as a conservative alternative to both Oz and McCormick.

Trump, who has rallied in the style of a campaign with Oz, insists he is the best candidate to keep the Senate in the hands of Republicans in the fall. Given his level of participation in the race, the loss would be a notable hurdle for the former president, who uses approvals as a way to prove his dominance over the Republican Party ahead of a potential 2024 presidential election.

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“I think he’s tough. He is very clever. It will be useful, “Trump told a Philadelphia radio station on Tuesday, citing Oz. I also think he is the one who will win the election. You know that elections are not easy to win.

Democrats, meanwhile, have their own primary elections. In Pennsylvania, Progressive Lieutenant Governor John Feterman dominated the Senate race, but was forced to leave the campaign by stroke. Feterman, 52, remains in hospital, although he said he is expected to fully recover.

In North Carolina, Cherry Beasley is the undisputed favorite in her primary election of 11 candidates for the Democratic Senate nomination. If she wins in November, Beasley will be the first black senator in the state – and only the third African-American to ever be elected to the House.

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Tuesday’s race could ultimately determine how competitive the general election will be this fall, when control of Congress, governor’s offices and key polling stations will be taken. This is especially true in Pennsylvania’s ongoing political battlefield, where some Republicans are already worried that Mastriano is too extreme to attract moderates, who are often decisive in general elections.

“There is definitely some concern in the party’s major factions,” said Pennsylvania Republican strategist Vince Galko. “Especially those in suburban areas.”

More fundamentally, Tuesday’s primary election could test voters’ commitment to democratic principles. Barnett fled even further to the right of Oz and took part in the January 2021 rally, which turned into an uprising in the US Capitol.

Then there is Mastriano, who was also outside the Capitol during the Mafia attack and would appoint Pennsylvania’s chief election official if he became governor. He promised to take the extraordinary step of requiring voters to “re-register” to vote – although this is prohibited by the National Voter Registration Act and likely violates significant protections under federal and possibly state law.

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“We will start all over again,” said Mastriano, who banned reporters from participating in his campaign in a recent debate.

He turned Trump’s lies about the widespread election fraud that cost him his presidency into the center of his campaign – and was called by a House of Representatives committee investigating the Capitol riot after his efforts to name a list of alternative voters for the college. of Trump.

Trump’s surest bet on Tuesday could be Bud, who overcame a slow start to emerge from 14 Republican primary candidates, including former Gov. Pat McCroy, as the frontrunner in the Republican election in the North Carolina Senate.

“Trump is the most important factor,” said David McLennan, a political science professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, the capital, who also noted that another conservative group, the Anti-Growth Action Club, had paid for pro-Bud advertising. “Trump’s support has turned the tide on him.”

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While much of the focus during the opening phase of the primary season focused on Trump’s grip on the Republican Party, the race also served as a referendum on Biden’s leadership of the Democratic Party. In the president’s home state of Pennsylvania, US representative Connor Lamb, modeled on Biden, is at risk of being defeated by Feterman.

Lamb said on Tuesday that he had found “disappointment” among Democrat voters, which he shared as the party struggled to fulfill much of its political agenda. But he says the moderates have helped Democrats regain control of the House in 2018 and that the party should “double” that approach this year.

“What I’ve been trying to do all this campaign is talk about the fact that, as hard as it is, we actually know as a country what it takes to be successful,” Lamb told a Pittsburgh radio station. “I saw us do something that many people said was impossible.”

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Still, known for his 6-foot-tall stature and tattoos, as well as advocating for causes, including universal health care, Feterman has turned to many Democrats with the image of an outsider – and he can hold on despite his fears for health.

Pat Sweeney, 59, of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, said he voted for Feterman because “he looked like a decent man and he knows what he’s doing.”

Another race that tests Biden’s national appeal with Democrat voters in the primary is coming across the country in Oregon. It was there that the president used his first mid-season approval to back incumbent Democrat Kurt Schrader against progressive contender Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

But Trump’s influence in the Republican primary is much wider.

In Idaho, Trump-backed Lt. Gov. Janice McGitchin is trying to oust Republican Gov. Brad Little. McGitchin issued executive orders banning mask mandates during the midst of the pandemic, when Little was out of state.

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The former president’s support could also change US Madison Kotorn’s bid to retain his seat in North Carolina, despite recent mistakes and efforts by political novice Bo Hines to win a House of Representatives nomination for a Raleigh area. points south.

On Tuesday, there was even a Kentucky lawmaker seeking re-election who took advantage of Trump’s change. The former president is now praised as a “first-class defender of the constitution” by Republican Thomas Massey, a Republican – just two years after he proposed that the Republican be removed from the Republican Party because he opposes $ 2 trillion in support of COVID. 19.

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Associated Press writer Michael Rubinkam contributed from Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Pennsylvania, North Carolina hosts key competitions

Source link Pennsylvania, North Carolina hosts key competitions

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