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Tags: doug mastriano | pennsylvania | donald trump | Jan.6 | abortion

Can Trump-Backed Mastriano Win Pennsylvania Governor's Race in Fall?

doug mastriano gives a speech
Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano gives a victory speech at his election-night party at The Orchards in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on May 17. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

John Gizzi By Wednesday, 18 May 2022 06:50 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

G. Terry Madonna, the Keystone's state premier pollster, explained in three small words the easy win of conservative State Sen. Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania's Republican primary for governor Tuesday over three better-funded opponents.

"The Trump base," Madonna told Newsmax, pointing out that the former president's late (three days ago) endorsement of Mastriano was all that was needed to mobilize his followers among Pennsylvania Republicans.

With the turnout greater than that in the midterm elections of 2018 and 2014, Mastriano—who two years ago vigorously fought to stop certification of Pennsylvania's electoral votes for Joe Biden — had a handsome 45.5%.

Far behind were former Rep. Lou Barletta (who had most of the endorsements of elected officials as part of a last-minute "Stop Mastriano" movement) with 21.2%, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain with 15.5%, and businessman Dave White with 8%.

Retired U.S. Army Col. Mastriano freely admitted he marched to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to protest Biden's election and has been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 Commission.

The South Central Pennsylvania lawmaker checks all the proverbial boxes on the right: vigorously supporting the rights of gun owners and school vouchers, cutting taxes, and in 2019 introducing the pro-life "heartbeat bill" (which requires physicians to determine whether an unborn child has a heartbeat and, if so, banning an abortion).

As Republicans throughout Pennsylvania came to grips with the nomination of the man who is easily their most controversial standard-bearer, early discussion was less about whether Mastriano could defeat Democrat nominee and State Attorney General Josh Shapiro and more about whether the Republican standard-bearer could lose so badly that his party would lose its present majority in the state House of Representatives.

One veteran GOP observer of Pennsylvania politics who requested anonymity told Newsmax: "Mastriano is a walking disaster who will lose badly and contaminate the rest of the ticket."

But there were other opinions.

"Mastriano can win," Lowman Henry of the conservative Lincoln Institute told Newsmax. "Getting 44% of the vote in a nine-way primary is very impressive. His grassroots network was vastly underestimated and should not be discounted headed into the general election."

Henry recalled how the state's recent Republican Govs. Tom Ridge (1994-2002) and Dick Thornburgh (1978-1986) won their initial primaries — both very crowded — with 34% and 32% of the vote respectively.

"And both of whom went on to win the general election," he told Newsmax. "A large field of candidates resulting in a nominee by plurality does not mean we lose. Historically, the competitive primary has toughened up our candidates, helped them build a grassroots organization and a campaign team that ultimately ended in victory."

Veteran political analyst Jay O'Callaghan told Newsmax that "a lot depends on how much Republicans unite behind Mastriano"

"With inflation and Biden's unpopularity, I'd say Mastriano's chances are fifty-fifty," he added.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
G. Terry Madonna, the Keystone's state premier pollster, explained in three small words the easy win of conservative State Sen. Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania's Republican primary for governor Tuesday over three better-funded opponents.
doug mastriano, pennsylvania, donald trump, Jan.6, abortion
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2022-50-18
Wednesday, 18 May 2022 06:50 AM
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