After two election straight election years of disappointment in races for the House, Pennsylvania Republicans were almost universally beaming at the probable outcome of the races for 17 redrawn districts — down from 18 before the 2021 Census and resulting redistricting.
With much of the state's press and the national media focused on the Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, relatively little attention is being paid to the races for the House seats. But the opportunities for Republican gains are significant in terms of what they will add to the next, presumably Republican House of Representatives.
"No Republicans are in danger of losing tomorrow," veteran Pennsylvania conservative activist Lowman Henry told Newsmax on Monday.
He added that Republicans should pick up three and possibly four new seats "depending on the wave."
Henry and other Republicans take for granted that Ross Township Board of Commissioners President Jeremy Shaffer will pick up the 17th District (Western Pennsylvania) seat that centrist Democrat Rep. Conor Lamb relinquished to run for the Senate nomination.
Shaffer is conservative on most issues, but is running more as a community leader and problem-solver — which appears to be an appealing profile in his district.
In the 7th District, a new Muhlenberg College poll showed two-term Democrat Rep. Susan Wild and Republican challenger Lisa Scheller at a virtual tie at 47% to 46%, respectively.
Two years ago, Wild edged businesswoman Scheller in the Northampton-Lehigh Valley district and leaders of both major parties are now weighing in for their rematch. First Lady Jill Biden stumped with Wild. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Republican National Chair Ronna McDaniel have campaigned with Scheller.
Another rematch is occurring in the neighboring 8th District, where two years ago Democrat Rep. Matt Cartwright eked out a win of 12,000 votes out of more than 344,000 cast.
Now, Republican nominee and former Trump Administration official Jim Bognet is considered the favorite because "my opponent has voted 100 percent with Joe Biden at a time there is 8.3 percent inflation and gas prices are up to $3.89 per gallon — the highest since I was 3 years old."
If the wave is big enough, Henry told us, "Guy Ciarrocchi could win in the 6th District over [Democrat Rep.] Chrissy Houlahan."
Ciarrocchi, president of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry and former spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is, like Shaffer in the 17th, running as a seasoned problem solver who will work with both parties.
A gain of three or four seats would, in effect, reverse all of the losses Pennsylvania Republicans have had at the House level since 2018.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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