Primaries in Pennsylvania, elsewhere are a referendum on Trump & Biden

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Stop the press! Donald Trump is running again! Actually no, he is not. But Americans could be forgiven for thinking that way.

The liberal media has given Trump the spotlight in primary elections across the country. They hope Trump’s preferred picks will suffer a string of defeats, showing the former president is out of touch and out of power.


Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Ohio Senate nominee JD Vance and Pennsylvania Senate nominee Mehmet Oz in Greensburg, Pennsylvania May 6, 2022.
(AP Photo/Gene J Puskar)

It’s a stupid strategy. The win rate of Trump’s favored candidates so far is a staggering 39-to-1. Yes, many of those winners have been incumbents who have met little opposition, but even in toss-up races, most of Trump’s picks have prevailed.

If Trump’s candidates do well in the current round of elections, the former president will be emboldened, not weakened. Meanwhile, the spotlight on Trump stands in sharp contrast to how invisible President Joe Biden has been during this busy season. The Hill recently published an article entitled “Biden is using his power in the primaries to bolster the moderates,” which caused a lot of hilarity on Twitter.

Right-leaning commentators noted that Biden’s miserable approval ratings suggest he has little “power” and that his ability to “empower moderates” is imaginative. In fairness, The Hill acknowledged that Biden’s attendance was fairly limited.

The Pennsylvania Senate primary demonstrates both Trump’s influence and Biden’s impotence.

The race to succeed retiring Republican Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania is crucial. It could determine whether Democrats retain control of the Senate beyond this year.
Trump is known to have Dr. Backed Mehmet Oz in the GOP primary, a hugely successful doctor and television personality who has angered some Conservatives for holding certain moderate positions in the past. Due to Trump’s endorsement on April 9, Dr. Oz fell from ten points behind hedge fund manager David McCormick to the lead eleven days later, according to the Real Clear Politics poll average.

A new Emerson poll shows Oz is currently six points ahead of McCormick and also well ahead of rising Conservative firebrand Kathy Barnette, who Trump has dismissed as an unlikely general election win.

The liberal media is working hard to get Dr. to undermine Oz. They’re desperate that Trump’s nominee won’t prevail, likely because Oz is hugely popular and appears to be doing well with black voters, too, who admire his longtime friendship with Oprah Winfrey. Both advantages could help him win the Senate seat next November.

While Democrats accuse Trump of indulging in celebrities, the reality is that Harvard-educated Oz is extremely smart and capable. He could lose some votes from the right for being muddy on gender or abortion issues, but could win them back from independents. In short, he is an excellent candidate.
(So, for the record, the highly qualified is David McCormick. In Pennsylvania, Republican voters have two strong choices.)

Meanwhile, Joe Biden has remained theoretically neutral in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, but is believed to favor the moderate Conor Lamb over the progressive in the running, Deputy State Governor John Fetterman. In 2018, Biden campaigned with Lamb, comparing the younger man to his beloved son Beau, who died of brain cancer. Lamb won a special election in a GOP-held district that year and was confirmed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as the more eligible of the two candidates this fall.

Fetterman, who backed Bernie Sanders in 2016, criticized Biden and earlier this year initially turned down a chance to appear with the president to signal his lack of support. More recently, he has reluctantly said he would “hug” Biden, though he still rants about the president’s stalled agenda.
While Trump’s favorite candidate appears to be leading the race in Pennsylvania, Biden enthusiast Conor Lamb is trailing badly, now by more than thirty points (The race was rocked by Fetterman, who recently suffered a stroke. The candidate has assured the public that he will do it phase of a full recovery).

Trump’s critics have painted his candidate choice as careless; They accuse him of putting his own grievances about the 2020 election above the interests of his party and the country. They hope his pick loses, costing Trump some authority in his party.

In some races these critics may be right. In Georgia, for example, Trump backed former Senator David Perdue in the run for governor in hopes of defeating incumbent Brian Kemp. Kemp earned Trump’s enmity by not backing his allegations of voter fraud after the 2020 election, but he’s a popular governor and appears to have a significant lead in the race.

However, in down-ballot races in the Peach State, a Trump endorsement appears to carry significant weight, according to a poll by the SPIA Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia. In a duel in the Secretary of State race in which Trump has backed Jody Hice over incumbent Brad Raffensberger, who also refused to back Trump’s claims about the Georgia election, Trump’s endorsement increases Hice’s lead by over 30 points.

It’s not just the Democrats who are hoping Trump’s candidates will stumble. Republicans like Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo, both of whom appear hopeful of running for president in 2024, are also waging something of a proxy contest this peak season. Pence has climbed the Kemp train in Georgia while Pompeo is supporting McCormick in Pennsylvania.


Neither confirmation appears to have changed their candidate’s prospects, but both Pence and Pompeo continued to part ways with President Trump, which may have been their purpose.


Trump is likely to rack up a string of victories in the coming primary, infuriating rivals on all sides and leaving the door open for another run in 2024. However, it’s not the primary season that will determine whether Trump seeks another term in the Oval Office. That will be left to Joe Biden, who is currently doing everything he can to ensure another Trump campaign.


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