President Donald Trump really shook up the Pennsylvania Senate race with his endorsement of Dr. Oz, but he also started a temblor in the Pennsylvania governor’s race. By his attack on former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, Trump triggered the Montgomery County Republican State Committee delegation to move past its previous position of not endorsing candidates in the primary to endorse Delaware County businessman Dave White for governor.
Liz Preate Havey, the chairperson of the Montgomery County Republicans, joined me on my radio show and told me Bill McSwain was a prime candidate for endorsement, but Trump’s direct assault on him for what Trump deemed was a failure to pursue voter fraud in the 2020 election aggressively made him radioactive. Havey cited the fact that polling indicated vast numbers of Trump voters would follow Trump’s lead and not vote for him in the primary.
The response of my listeners to all this offers an alternative. In the wake of the Trump attack, my Twitter poll and on-air calls indicate stronger support for McSwain. Listeners seemed to realize that in the aftermath of the 2020 election, McSwain had to follow the directives of Attorney General Bill Barr, who was his boss and someone who chose not to pursue many of the charges of fraud that were raised after the election.
In addition to the difference of opinion between Trump over McSwain, an increasing number of listeners have expressed the fear that Trump might be relitigating the election of 2020 rather than focusing on the elections of 2022 and 2024. The approach I recommend is, rather than dwell on wild and bizarre theories around 2020, to focus on closing off huge sums of money from people like Mark Zuckerberg that were used to drive up Democrat voting using government elected officials and to get rid of mail-in balloting in Pennsylvania.
In addition to her insights as why the Montco Republicans chose to endorse White over McSwain, Havey told me her group did not think state Sen. Doug Mastriano could win the general election for governor. She agreed he often wins most polls and is a powerhouse in the state’s rural areas, but she believes he would be swamped by Josh Shapiro, the attorney general and Democratic candidate for governor.
In addition to Trump’s scrambling of the governor’s race here locally, his endorsement of Dr. Oz in the Senate race really disappointed my listeners overall. They seem to agree that Oz has a good case for winnability in the general election due to his name recognition and financial resources. However, they have deep doubts about his stance on gun rights, abortion, and several cultural issues. In addition, they are not that upset that he did not choose to endorse Dave McCormick but rather that he passed over candidate Kathy Barnette. They see Barnette as the most fervent by far MAGA person in the entire field. The poll I conducted on listener choices after Trump’s Oz endorsement had Kathy with a clear majority of the total votes.
I’d also like to remind readers of the candidacy of Jeff Bartos for the Senate seat. Bartos has been saluted by Tucker Carlson and a host of others for his successful efforts to keep tons of small businesses afloat during the disastrous lockdowns across Pennsylvania. He is a person of distinct accomplishment.
My last thought in all this is that I hope President Trump does not endorse anyone in the Republican primary for governor. This is the most important race in the country to me. I’m convinced that if a Republican wins, we will not see a repeat of the questionable election issues we saw in 2020 and Pennsylvania will fairly decide the election of 2024.