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GOP Senate: Can Kathy Barnette Pull It Out?

The Pennsylvania GOP primary for the U.S. Senate nomination is on track to be the most expensive in Commonwealth history and, perhaps, the most expensive in the nation this cycle.

Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick have combined to spend $60 million to this point and more time has probably been reserved for the final stretch leading up to May 17. It was widely thought that the pair’s deep pockets would enable them to pull away from the other three leading candidates.

But, quoting Lee Corso on ESPN’s College Football Gameday – “Not so fast, my friend.”

Conservative commentator Kathy Barnette has made a meteoric rise into a statistical tie atop the leaderboard according to the latest Trafalgar Group poll of 1,080 likely Republican voters. While Oz received the most support at 24.5 percent and McCormick was not far off the pace at 21.6, Barnette slid into the second position at 23.2 percent and with a margin of error at +/-2.99%, the race is a statistical dead heat.

A lot of Pennsylvania voters are looking at Barnette in the same way they watched Rich Strike come-from-behind to win the Kentucky Derby … where did she come from?

“I think Barnette’s rise is based on two factors,” said Stephen Medvic, Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College.  “The first is that the two leading candidates do not currently have deep support.  Oz has a higher disapproval than approval rating, and more people say they “don’t know” if they approve/disapprove of McCormick than approve of him.  Neither of them unequivocally appeals to the base of the party.  This creates an opening for another candidate.”

“The numerous and persistent attacks that McCormack and Oz have hit each other with have taken a toll on their standing, opening the door for alternatives,” said Chris Borick, professor of political science at Muhlenberg College.  “Barnette, who is a fixture in conservative media, has been able to establish herself as a viable option.  Despite not getting Trump’s endorsement, she has full MAGA credentials. Thus for voters that still follow Trump but don’t agree with his Oz endorsement, she may be a better option than McCormack who Trump himself has claimed is not MAGA.”

Barnette’s surge has essentially come at the expense of the other woman in the race – former U.S. ambassador Carla Sands. In the April Trafalgar Group poll, Sands stood at 18.4 percent, while Barnette was at 11.2. One month later, it is Barnette who nearly doubled her support, while Sands fell off to 6.5 percent. This despite Sands’ attacks on the debate stage directed at Barnette.

Some have said that her personal story has been one reason that voters are looking her way. “I am the byproduct of a rape,” Barnette shared during a Republican primary debate. “My mother was 11 years old when I was conceived, my father was 21. I was not just a ‘lump of cells.’ As you can see, I’m still not just a ‘lump of cells.’ My life has value.”

It has provided Barnette with a unique line of attack against Oz, the celebrity doctor, who has expressed hesitancy at laws restricting abortion and lamented that before Roe v. Wade, women who endured “traumatic events” and wanted abortions had to turn to “coat-hanger events.”

“That is one of the reasons why it was so very disturbing when I saw Mehmet Oz running for this particular race, when I’ve seen him on numerous occasions, specifically at the [2019 WWPR-FM radio show] ‘Breakfast Club,’ saying that my life was nothing more than an acorn with electrical currents,” Barnette said. “I am wondering if the doctor has now since changed his position on that.”

She has also directed barbs at McCormick. Barnette has called him a “globalist” – a derogatory term with an antisemitic origin adopted by Trump to conjure up an elite, international coterie that doesn’t serve America’s best interests – and tried to tie him to the World Economic Forum.

“Her style fits the Trump mold and I think the more voters in the Trump wing of the party hear from her, the better she does,” said Medvic. “Many will see her as more authentically conservative than the two (other) front-runners. There may be a ceiling on her support but that ceiling doesn’t have to be very high for her to compete with Oz and McCormick.”

24 Responses

  1. Really? Where is all the $$$$ given to PA? Why is it NOT being used on those who lost out during the pandemic, such as training for teachers in this virtual world, ditto for the students as examples?
    Why are we even talking about BS when the discussion should be about our OPEN Southern Border, the poor economy and how will they improve it?

  2. Why won’t she disclose her military records? You’d think she’d be proud of it. What is she hiding?

  3. The bump is primarily due to the allegiance pact between Kathy and Mastriano and the growing discontent with the two tourist candidates.

  4. “ She has also directed barbs at McCormick. Barnette has called him a “globalist” – a derogatory term with an antisemitic origin adopted by Trump to conjure up an elite, international coterie that doesn’t serve America’s best interests – and tried to tie him to the World Economic Forum.” I am Jewish and I have never sensed that “globalist” is some secret code word against me or my family, or Jews anywhere else. Our family all voted for Trump because he represented our pro USA views. Who even writes something ridiculous like this, Steve? The D & R establishments have been trying to discredit Barnette ever since ignoring her didn’t work, and that’s all this globalist nonsense is. I’m a big Barnette fan for the simple reason she represents my views, and also because she’s a regular person from PA. She’s not a rich socialite from Hollywood or Connecticut.

  5. I support Fetterman. Barnett is a viable alternative if for some reason I become disillusioned with Fetterman. Neither Oz nor McCormick belong in the Senate. Both are running to gratify their egos. Barnett is too right-wing for my taste, but she is rational, not delusional like Mastriano.

  6. Concur with sentiments in this piece; for example, I’ve often voiced the opinion regarding the carpetbaggers that Kathy should revel in their efforts under the aegis of “Let you and him fight”; their evasion of tough questions [e.g., “Oz, why haven’t you condemned the Armenian Massacre and why haven’t you addressed your medical endorsements of products that lack endorsement in the medical literature?”] contrasts with how she consistently accurately cites root causes of concerns that justifiably challenge American “shining city on a hill” values.

    Suddenly during the past week, Kathy is building upon her authenticity on multiple platforms; and, regarding debate performance, she has manifest a steadfast conservatism while emulating Woody Allen’s admonition [“Most success in life is simply showing up”].

    Just as is the case with Mastriano, a divided opposition to her articulation of fundamentals within the GOP has led to a division of those who may feel threatened by her sense of independence; the “skyrocket” characterization provides cover for those who otherwise wouldn’t want to risk a November loss.

    The RINO/GOPe leadership has been dominant locally/nationally, “tolerating” the alleged-zealotry of those who represent the philosophical base; although I’m Jewish and thus cannot claim to have been “born again,” the fervor for “it’s our turn, this year” has consistently emerged whenever Doug/Kathy convey their policies.

  7. Fetterman is a silver spoon trust fund baby posing as a poor, down to earth, “working class hero” because he was once the mayor of a ghetto.

    Barnette should clean his clock, but the brain damaged single white women and soccer mommies in the upscale suburbs, who vote with their c*nts instead of their brains (I see Fetterman signs all over the hoity-toity areas) are going to make it tough for her.

  8. Kathy is the only MAGA candidate. Miracles can happen. I’m praying it’s Barnette!

  9. Kathy Barnette has the best chance of defeating Fetterman in November. She’s middle class, down to earth conservative who served our country for 10 years in the military. She has humble beginnings. How can Fetterman attack her? On the other hand, Oz and McCormick are so elitist that many inner city residents will flock to Fetterman. Kathy is already outreaching to inner city residents with success.

    1. She is an idiot who stated the Commissioners in Montco shouldn’t raise taxes because there was plenty of money in the school district budget after they shut everything down in the first year of the pandemic. That they should just move it over from there.

      If you don’t understand why that is the comment of a child who doesn’t understand government, budgets, taxes, or anything that is basic to an adult member of society who claims to have a finance background – there is a wall that needs you to prop it up with your head.

        1. No. It wasn’t, buddy.

          She literally didn’t understand they needed more money in the county budget when they “saved so much from the schools being shut down.

          I’m sure her supporters would like to think it was semantics, but it wasnt.

  10. Frankly I would feel better with her over the hedge fund carpetbagger and the TV celebrity Turkish citizen carpetbagger.

  11. Oz is the most media savvy. Fetterman will struggle against him. Who am I to write Kathy Barnette off?

    1. Oz, probably represents the GOP’s best chance to retain that seat, because of his TV experience, though he’s going to need to do better than basically being a MAGA mad-lib in his messaging, if he wants to pierce Dem support in the suburbs (which given the Dems’ struggles on kitchen table issues, and decision to nominate an ideologue in Fetterman, it’s doable). I see where Barnette can make true MAGA believers hearts go a flutter, but she got her clock cleaned in her suburban congressional race, and I just don’t see swing voter appeal in her one iota.

  12. “Globalist” is NOT anti semetic. Complete load of garbage writing. One only has to listen to any WEF Davos meeting to see that it’s a very real thing.

    1. I’m always ready to monitor the “anti-Semitic” charge, which I prefer to characterize as “Jew-Hatred”; as much as I fear globalism [including the upcoming “pandemic”] conference, I’ve not found its adherents to hold such derivative biases.

      1. Do you read what you write? You wound like the most pretentious ass. Its not just because you refer to yourself with your medical degree, but you go out of your way to use unnecessarily complex and specific words on comment sections where people don’t take themselves seriously.

        In an effort to assert yourself as being intelligent, you show everyone how dumb you are.

        Also, you think your analysis is unique and interesting. Its not. It is pedestrian.

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