Trump gives last-minute approval to a big supporter of lying in the run of the AP governor – Mother Jones

Far-right candidate for Pennsylvania Governor Doug Mastriano speaks to supporters in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Friday. Aimee Dilger / ZUMA

Facts matter: subscribe for free Mother Jones every day News bulletin. support our non-profit reporting. subscribe to our print magazine.

Donald Trump is coverage his bets. His Pennsylvania candidate for the US Senate, famed Doctor Mehmet Oz, looks like he could lose to a none politician in Tuesday’s primary. So, Saturday, Trump approved State Senator Doug Mastriano, the first far-right runner in the Pennsylvania governor’s primary.

The move appears to be a way for Trump to save face and pretend his endorsement is more powerful than it actually is. Last month, Trump surprised many of his supporters when he did put his weight behind Oz, which isn’t quite anyone’s idea of ​​a MAGA warrior. Since, “ultraMAGACandidate Kathy Barnette has rose in the polls and has now joined another candidate, David McCormick, in the margin of error behind Oz, according to a recent Fox News poll.

Barnette’s far-right rhetoric and the story of overcoming the adversity she faced as a black girl in rural Alabama have rang out with Trump supporters. It’s an embarrassing development for Trump, who is testing his base loyalty by urging them to vote for a televised doctor.

In interviews with Pennsylvania Republicans, the New York Times found deep skepticism for Oz and admiration for Barnette. A 83-year-old named Dolores Mrozinski said Times Jennifer Medina reporter that Barnette was “no frills and the real thing”. Her daughter said of Oz to her: “It looks like she had a facelift.”

Barnette is now near the top of polls, despite having far less money and institutional backing than its competitors. His supporters don’t seem to care about his record anti-Muslim and anti-gay Comments. Instead, they seem inspired by her message about her as she became a Senate candidate after growing up in a home with no insulation or running water. The closest thing to an elective office before this year was the loss of a 2020 House run by nearly 20 points.

In the race for the governor, Mastriano built a ruin 10 points advantage on his rivals before securing Trump’s support. He was at the center of Trump’s Pennsylvania efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Hey there organized He travels by bus to Washington, DC, for the “Stop the Steal” demonstration on January 6 and was outside the Capitol that day, although there is no evidence that he entered the building and was not accused of breaking any laws. “There is no one in Pennsylvania who has done more, or fought harder, for the electoral integrity of state Senator Doug Mastriano,” Trump said in his endorsement of Mastriano. “He has revealed the deception, corruption and ultimate theft of the 2020 presidential election and will do something about it.”

Earlier this week, Trump’s favorite candidate in the run for governor of Nebraska, Charles Herbster, lost its primary. Herbster had impeccable Trumpian credentials, but was also charged with sexual assault by eight women, including a Nebraska state senator. Despite the allegations Herbster has denied, Trump traveled to Nebraska to campaign for Herbster. Trump’s defeat in the Nebraska game came shortly after playing key role in securing a win for JD Vance in the Ohio GOP Senate primary.

Pennsylvania will provide another proof of Trump’s influence. Fox News host Sean Hannity, a close ally of Trump, has gone all out attack Barnette in the lead up to the primary. Trump said in a statement that he “will never be able to win the general election against the radical left Democrats.”

The problem for Trump is that many of his supporters are making a decision, including Mastriano himself, who supported Barnette and campaigned alongside him. Michael Testa, Army veteran and handyman interviewed from Times, drive a minivan with “Trump Won” stickers. But Testa, who has not yet decided who he will vote for in the Senate primary, said: “I won’t be someone who does something just because a person says so, even if that person is Trump.”