Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Bob Casey and Dave McCormick advance to the general election in Pennsylvania, setting up a key race for Senate control

By 37ci3 Apr24,2024

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Republican Dave McCormick will officially face off. Pennsylvania’s high-stakes Senate battle This fall after winning uncontested primaries on Tuesday, NBC News projects.

Casey, a three-term incumbent, and McCormick, who rallied the Pennsylvania GOP establishment behind his candidacy after announcing his candidacy last year, will now run to the November election in one of the most hotly contested, expensive Senate races in the country. The race is among a handful that could upset the balance of power in the upper house of Congress.

For McCormick, a hedge fund executive and former Treasury Department official under President George W. Bush, his 2024 run comes after a failed bid against former President Donald Trump’s nominee in 2022, the popular physician Mehmet Oz, who narrowly defeated him in the Republican primary. support. Oz lost in the general election to Democrat John Fetterman.

This time, McCormick has the support of Trump as well as GOP leaders in Pennsylvania.

“It’s a big day in Pennsylvania and we hope people get out there and vote,” Trump said. criminal hush money court on Tuesday in New York. “It’s important to vote to let them know we’re coming on November 5. We are coming big. Today’s primary, but still very important, and maybe they’ll also think about Dave McCormick, a very good man running for Senate in Pennsylvania.

But even with a unified GOP behind him, McCormick faces an uphill battle. After Trump’s shock victory in 2016, Republicans in the Keystone State lost race after race. And Casey, the son of a former state governor, is often ahead of President Joe Biden in the state.

“Oh, the guy from Connecticut?” Fetterman told NBC News that Democrats criticized McCormick Maintain a Connecticut residence. “He loves Connecticut and loves working and investing in Chinese companies. And I don’t think it’s a winner in Pennsylvania, but I guess we’ll find out. Bob Casey will smoke it.”

Possible presidential primary protest votes

The top of the ticket was not dramatic in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, as both Casey and McCormick ran unopposed, and The presidential elections Both Trump and Biden were formal, having already endorsed their parties’ nominations. NBC News predicted that both men would win their parties’ primary in Pennsylvania.

But there was intrigue beneath the surface as voters from both parties had a chance to submit their protest votes on Tuesday. There was an organized effort to force Democratic voters to write “no threat” on presidential ballots to express their opposition to Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war. Nikki Haley, who dropped out of the race in early March, still appeared on the Republican ballot.

While the presidential and Senate primaries are formal, turnout may provide some clues as to which side has more enthusiastic supporters in the critical battlegrounds ahead of the November race.

“If people are excited and going to vote in an uncompetitive primary, I think that speaks volumes,” said Nick Gavio, a progressive strategist with the Working Families Party.

About 1.1 million Pennsylvanians voted in the 2020 presidential primary in which Trump is the incumbent and unchallenged. That year, nearly 1.6 million voters in the state turned out to vote in the Democratic primary, which Biden had secured until then. Biden won the state in November by nearly 80,000 votes.

The battle for the house

More down the ballot, there are several races of significant intrigue. Among them is the House Democratic primary in the Pittsburgh area.

The race tested the strength of sentiment over the war in Gaza, as Lee is the first to lose a primary among progressive lawmakers who have been staunch critics of Israel’s war effort. Part of his district includes Squirrel Hill, a famous historic Jewish neighborhood that was home to the worst anti-Semitic attack in US history in 2018.

But Lee, who is a member of “The Squad” along with fellow progressives like House Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was seen as the favorite ahead of Tuesday’s contest by pro-Israel groups spending against her in the 2022 primary. this time against it.

Lee’s challenger, Bhavini Patel, was bolstered by outside spending from GOP megadonor Jeffrey Yass. Patel condemned Yass, but Lee and his allies portrayed Yass as a conservative Democrat because of his involvement. Pennsylvania’s 12th District is fully Democratic.

Another House primary vote in eastern Pennsylvania is shaping up to be one of the more important battles of the night, as R-Pa. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick tried to fight a key challenge from anti-abortion activist Mark Houck. It’s not the first time Fitzpatrick, a moderate Republican and former FBI agent, has faced a challenge from the right in the 1st District, which Biden is carrying in 2020.

In the 10th District, which includes Harrisburg, six Democrats are running against GOP Rep. Scott Perry, a former chairman of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus who has been involved in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump narrowly carried the region in 2020.

Two more general election matches have been scheduled in competitive Home races. NBC News predicts Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright will face Republican businessman Rob Bresnahan in Scranton’s 8th District, while Democratic Rep. Chris Deluzio will face GOP state Rep. Rob Mercury in the southwestern 17th District. Pennsylvania.

Republicans are aiming for a razor-thin majority in the lower house this year.

Other low-ballot races include a five-way Democratic primary and a two-way Republican battle for attorney general and one-on-one Democratic primaries for treasurer and state auditor as Democrats seek to unseat Republican incumbents this fall.

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