Republicans ought to be confident about winning the midterms except that, as usual, the party (and I don’t just mean the establishment) is wrecking winnable races and putting people forward who have all the appeal of a ketchup-chocolate ice cream sandwich.
After the disaster in Ohio, Pennsylvania’s primary is a race between a country club Republican and Mehmet ‘Mohammed’ Oz, a Turkish quack who supports transgender mutilation of children, gun control, pandemic lockdowns, masking and well the entire platform of the Democrats.
And has Turkish citizenship and ties to its Islamist regime.
It’s like the GOP has a literal death wish.
Except despite the flow of celebrity endorsers at rallies, it’s not quite over just yet.
Kathy Barnette has been outspent 358-to-1 on TV in Pennsylvania’s GOP primary for the Senate. She hasn’t run for statewide office before. She doesn’t have former President Donald Trump’s endorsement.
But the ultra-MAGA commentator is surging in the polls anyway in the final weeks of one of the most expensive and closely watched races in the country.
If Kathy succeeds in beating Mohammed Oz and McCormick, this will be the one bright spot for conservative candidates in Senate races. It’ll also be a reminder that it’s about what you actually stand for, not your name recognition.
Barnette’s unlikely — and, to some, unbelievable — rise has turned heads in political circles across the state because it defies political logic. Just two years ago, she lost a House bid in the Philadelphia suburbs by a wide margin. This time around, her opponents Mehmet Oz and David McCormick have spent $12.4 million and $11.4 million on television commercials, respectively, according to the ad-tracking firm AdImpact. Other candidates and outside groups have bankrolled $25 million more in spots. Oz has also won a highly sought-after nod from Trump.
Barnette, on the other hand, has spent a paltry $137,000 on TV.
That’s how the Trump campaign worked back in the day. It was lean, mean and effective. That’s why it was actually populist.
Barnette has used forums and debates to talk about her striking biography: She has described herself as a “product of a rape,” whose mother was only 11 years old when she was conceived. As a child, she lived on a pig farm without insulation. She went on to become a veteran, adjunct professor of corporate finance, and author of “Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: Being Black and Conservative in America.”
In a poll by Franklin & Marshall College released this month, Barnette received a more modest 12 percent, behind McCormick at 16 percent and Oz at 18 percent. That still represented a small uptick for Barnette from its prior survey of the race.
Multiple sources also told POLITICO that in private polling conducted by both Democrats and Republicans, Barnette has seen a surge in recent weeks.
Imagine a conservative candidate actually winning a Senate race without the celebrities or the millions in TV ads that benefit the political consultants they bring in.
That would be authentic MAGA.