GOP Establishment Sweating Over Come-From-Behind PA Senate Candidate Kathy Barnette

GOP Establishment Sweating Over Come-From-Behind PA Senate Candidate Kathy Barnette
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Once again, Establishment and seemingly well-heeled Republicans are doing everything they can to try to control the primary process in favor of their own candidates. 

Pennsylvania Senate candidate Kathy Barnette, who up until very recently not many would have given a chance to win that state’s open Senate seat, has surged ahead in the polls, and has a very real chance of winning the Republican primary.

But standing in here way are a pair of odd bed-fellows.

The GOP Establishment, and surprisingly, Donald Trump.

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Barnette Could Be A Problem For All The Right People

The person who may have the worst case of heartburn over Kathy Barnette’s sudden lead in the polls is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell stated as early as last summer that he and his allies were quite ready to intervene in Senate GOP primary elections that looked as though candidates supported by the Republican voters of that state were deemed “unelectable.”

McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt,

 “If necessary. There’s no question that in order to win … you have to appeal to the general election audience. I’ll be keeping an eye on that. Hopefully we won’t have to intervene, but if we do, we will.”

The State Of The Race In Pennsylvania

Even as GOP establishment types are attempting to portray her as a volatile candidate who would blow any chance of a GOP takeover of the Senate in the fall midterms, as an up and coming black conservative, Barnette has gotten the attention of many Pennsylvanians with their eye on the Senate race. 

She recently gained more momentum when she released a video entitled, “It Wasn’t a Choice. It Was a Life.” In the video, Barnette told the story of her mother being raped at the age of 11, and that Barnette herself was the result of that horrific experience.

It has gained her an endorsement by a pro-life group called, and gained more attention for her following the Supreme Court draft decision on Roe v Wade.

Barnette’s two closest rivals, former hedge fund CEO David McCormack, and TV doctor Mehmet Oz have not given her much attention, preferring to tear into each other.

Former President Donald Trump has not only endorsed Oz, but also recently attacked Barnette.

And while Trump has a good track record of endorsing candidates who go on to win, The Political Insider’s own Rusty Weiss recently took a look at Trump’s endorsement of Dr. Oz, and found quite a few issues such as abortion, gun rights, fracking, and even as far back as Obamacare.

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GOP Love To Eat Their Own

The McConnell wing of the party has attempted to bring down Kathy Barnette’s candidacy. People labeled as “GOP operatives” are said to be circulating videos of Barnette making several concerning comments about discrimination and racism.

An online petition created by Barnette to create a statue in Washington D.C. that would honor former President Barack Obama and his family has also resurfaced. 

Barnette is a favorite on former Trump advisor Steve Bannon’s podcast. Bannon said to Axios, “The reason she has struck a chord is she NEVER conceded her House race loss,” Bannon told Axios in a text message. “Pennsylvania is MAGA v. ULTRA MAGA.”

In a Real Clear Politics average poll from May 3-9, Barnette is coming in second at 21%, behind Oz who is at 23%, and ahead of McCormack at 20.3%. The Club for Growth has scheduled roughly $2 million worth of television ads for election day on Tuesday, and the conservative equivalent to “Emily’s List,” the “Susan B. Anthony” list has endorsed her.

When asked by Axios if the GOP establishment is influencing the election in any way, Senate Minority Whip John Thune stated, “In this case, no, we’re not. … We’re going to let the voters vote their will.”

The Political Insider’s Brett Smith chatted with Barnette during her 2020 race – you can see what she had to say below:


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