The Pennsylvanian GOP Let Trump Pick Their Candidates, and it Didn’t Work



Between an invasion from New Jersey and the nomination of a man who joined the storm on the capitol, Pennsylvania’s GOP has demonstrated to the rest of the nation how a state’s party’s floundering can not only lose a governorship but the whole Senate. 


Pat Toomey, a GOP Senator whose more moderate politics deemed him an outsider in his own party, but also allowed him to win two Senate elections in a state that traditionally leans Democratic, decided to retire after his vote to impeach President Donald Trump in 2021. This made Pennsylvania seem like the Democrat’s most likely pick-up in the Senate; however, an unfavorable national environment made it seem likely for the Senate seat to remain in Republican hands.


After the race’s original front-runner, Sean Parnell, dropped out of the race, the Pennsylvanian GOP floundered and allowed President Trump to pick their Senate nominee. He decided to endorse Dr. Mehmet Oz, rather than the more moderate and electable David McCormick. Beyond his extremities, Dr. Oz’s campaign is also haunted by his past. His long tenure on television promoting suspicious products to viewers, as well as the fact that his connection to Pennsylvania is slim at best, have posed red flags throughout the campaign.  


At the moment, Fetterman has a 3-point lead over Oz and although it is quite possible that Dr. Oz may be able to edge out him on election day, the indecisive actions of the Pennsylvanian GOP have put their chances of winning back the Senate in jeopardy. 


A race where the Pennsylvanian GOP’s inaction has had a much more negative result for the party is that for Governor. Doug Mastriano won the nomination against the former frontrunner, Lou Barletta, after receiving the endorsement from President Trump. 


Prior to the primary election, the Cook Political Report had the race as a toss-up. The day after the election, the Governorship moved into the Democratic column and Shapiro has only increased his likelihood since. Not only that, but not a single poll has been produced showing Mastriano in the lead and, according to Real Clear Politics, Democratic nominee Attorney General Josh Shapiro has almost a 12-point lead over Mastriano.  


It has become quite clear that Pennsylvanian voters are not fans of candidates who participated in the storming of the capitol or support a total ban on abortion, and that the Pennsylvania GOP turned a perfectly winnable race into one they are all but certain to lose.