August 18: Leaning Left

Leaning Left

Good Thursday morning. Just two weeks to The Backyard Brawl and Penn State vs. Purdue.

PA Weather
Renovo | Mostly Sunny, 77
New Freedom | Sunny, 79
Stroudsburg | Mostly Sunny, 84

PA Sports
Phillies (65-52, 10.5 GB) | lost to Cincinnati, 1-0
FRI vs. NY Mets, 7:05

Pirates (45-72, 20.5 GB) | lost to Boston, 8-3
THU vs. Boston, 7:05

Union (13-4-9, 1st) | lost to Dallas, 1-0

Hollidaysburg Little League | THU vs. Pearland, Texas, 7:00 (World Series)

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Top Story

1. Cook Political Shifts Senate Race to “Lean Democrat”

The Cook Political Report has shifted its position on the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race from “Toss-Up” to “Lean Democrat.”

“If you had asked us before primaries began in earnest in early May, we put the odds that Republicans would flip the Senate at more than 60 percent, with a gain of as many as four seats possible. Right now, the range we see is between Democrats picking up one seat and Republicans gaining three. However, the most probable for now may be a net change of zero or a GOP pickup of one to two.”

In the most recent poll from Public Opinion Strategies, Democrat John Fetterman has an 18-point advantage over GOP opponent Mehmet Oz, 51-33. (Cook Political Report)


Do Real Voters Care About Crudites?. “It’s been a tough week for Mehmet Oz’s Senate campaign. And not just because of the crudité video seen ’round the world.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Mehmet Oz Says He Was ‘Exhausted’ When He Filmed Viral “Wegner’s” Gaffe. (Business Insider)


Mehmet Oz’s New Hometown is a Private, Religious Community Where Opinions on Him Are Split. “Bryn Athyn is politically split religious community going through its own political changes. Reactions to Oz on several recent visits ranged from pride to embarrassment to indifference.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Maine Home Owned by Dr. Oz’s Wife is a Line of Attack in PA Senate Race. “Democratic candidate John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, released a campaign video Wednesday afternoon highlighting homes purportedly owned by Oz, including one in Cumberland, Maine. Fetterman’s campaign again referenced the home with a picture in a later tweet, calling the property a “pristine mansion” and saying “Oz for Maine 2024.”” (Bangor Daily News)

Sen. Rick Scott: Fetterman ‘Lied’ About Health During Stroke Recovery. “Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Wednesday accused Pennsylvania Democrat Senate candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of having “lied about his health.” (Newsmax)



2. Planned Parenthood Launches $50M Campaign to Elect Abortion Rights Champions

In its largest ever investment in an election cycle, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations launched its 2022 program, entitled “Take Control.”

The $50 million program is designed to elect candidates who champion the organization’s positions on sexual and reproductive health care and rights, including abortion. The strategic investments will focus on states positioned to either ban or expand access to sexual and reproductive health care.

Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations will initially invest in nine target states: Georgia, Nevada, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Wisconsin. (PoliticsPA)


Planned Parenthood to Spend Record $50 Million on Midterm Elections. “The record investment underscores how much reproductive rights advocates believe abortion will be a motivating issue for voters in this year’s midterm elections” (Washington Post)

  • Planned Parenthood to Spend Historic $50 Million on Midterm Elections, Pro-Life Group Calls Action ‘Desperate’. (Fox News)
  • Planned Parenthood is Playing Defense. (Washington Examiner)



3. Is PA Worth Spending GOP Money On?

Kyle Kondik, writing for Sabato’s Crystal Ball, notes that the group’s gubernatorial ratings has seen a shift to the west over the course of the election cycle.

“Think about how the races have evolved. Pennsylvania, for instance, looked as though it would be one of the Republicans’ top pickup opportunities this cycle. But the nomination of far-right state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) has many Republicans wondering if it’s even worth spending money there as state Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) seeks a third straight Democratic term in Harrisburg following outgoing Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) 2 terms.

A key thing to watch in Pennsylvania is whether the well-heeled Republican Governors Association actually decides to spend there; as it is now, Shapiro has a ton of money to spend while Mastriano hardly has any. The Keystone State is so competitive that we would not expect Shapiro to win by the big margin that some polls show given what we still expect to be a Republican-leaning overall political environment, but it does appear that Shapiro retains the edge.” (Sabato’s Crystal Ball)


Mastriano Demands Debates Run by the Campaigns Instead of Media Outlets. “Labor Day is still three weeks away, but Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor, says he will not participate in standard debates this fall, claiming that the traditional format with an independent moderator would be “unfair” and a “trap” for him.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • GOP Candidate for Governor Challenges Democratic Opponent to Unconventional Debates. (Levittown Now)


Around the Commonwealth

PA Lawmakers Are Set to Get Huge Raises Next Year. They Can Return Them, But Almost Nobody Does. “Fiscal responsibility is an axiom in Harrisburg, but nearly none of Pennsylvania’s 253 state lawmakers seem to mind when their own salaries swell spending.” (SpotlightPA)

Priorities USA Action Spends $2M Targeting Young People with Voter Registration Ads. The digital ads will resemble content seen on TikTok and other social media platforms and will run on Facebook, Instagram and Hulu through October, including in Pennsylvania. (POLITICO)

Butler County Finishes Its Audit of 2020 Election, Finds No Inaccuracies Among 1,600 Ballots. “Butler County has completed its review of two precincts from the 2020 election, finding no inaccuracies and totaling nearly 170 work hours for county elections staff, according to a report prepared by the county’s acting elections director.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Pittsburgh Hosts, and Hopes to Inspire, National Gathering of Progressives This Week. “A lot has changed since the last time Netroots Nation came to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in 2009. Back then, Barack Obama had just taken office and the future looked bright for the progressive movement embodied by the gathering. This year’s event, which organizers say should attract roughly 2,500 attendees, takes place at the same venue, but in a much murkier moment.” (WESA-FM)

Who’s In Charge? Role of Mayor Challenged in Rochester. “Mayor Keith Jackson believes his position as an elected official is being disrespected by his colleagues and that they are threatening him into not asking questions.” (Beaver County Times)

Biden to Return to NEPA Later This Month. “President Joe Biden has kept his word to reschedule his visit to Wilkes-Barre after his trip last month was canceled when he tested positive for COVID-19.” (Times-Tribune)

Hazleton Councilwoman Sacco to Resign. “Hazleton City Councilwoman Lauren Sacco resigned Wednesday, saying she can no longer tolerate threats made against her and her family” (Standard-Speaker)



One Response

  1. How un-PA can you get? Oz calling a veggie plate crudites (crew di tays), which seems to be a French word.

Comments are closed.


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