Struggling Trump-backed candidate announces '40 days of fasting and prayer' ahead of election day
Doug Mastriano. (US Army photo)

Doug Mastriano, the Trump-backed Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor whom multiple polls suggest is losing to Democratic rival Josh Shapiro by a considerable margin, is apparently resorting to divine intervention.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Mastriano this week announced he would be leading "40 days of prayer and fasting" between this coming Thursday and election day, even as he struggles to raise money and keep wary Republicans from abandoning hope.

"While it is unclear who Mastriano expects to start fasting on Thursday, the recent entreaties seem to indicate that his campaign, which epitomizes what scholars call Christian nationalist ideology, has fallen on hard times," notes the Inquirer. "The messaging has grown increasingly erratic, sometimes arguably bordering on nonsensical. One of Mastriano’s main attack strategies these days is emphasizing that he is taller than Shapiro."

The Republican Governors Association has refused to come to Mastriano's financial aid, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey referred to the race as a "lost cause" earlier this year.

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Mastriano has also had troubles building a grassroots army to propel him to victory, as a recent event that was billed as a "big rally" in the state capital of Harrisburg attracted only 60 people.