Pennsylvania Republicans are licking their wounds after their devastating losses in the 2022 midterm election that saw them lose a winnable governor's seat, as well as watching a U.S. Senate seat flip to the Democrats.
With an eye on 2024, Republicans in the state are trying to get their house in order to avoid another bloodbath at the ballot box due, in large part, to flawed candidates foisted on them by former president Donald Trump.
According to a report from the Daily Beast's Ursula Perano, that work is proceeding with plans being made to coalesce behind electable candidates as soon as possible in the hopes of avoiding a messy Republican primary similar to the one they just experienced which ended with having TV doctor Mehmet Oz and election-denier Doug Mastriano on the ticket, both of whom "wiped out spectacularly, casting this swing state in a definitively blue hue," Perano wrote.
Writing that "soul-searching" over the 2022 losses has concluded, Pennsylvania Republicans believe that runner-up candidate and wealthy businessman David McCormick is their "silver bullet" who could claw back a Senate seat if he runs against Sen. Bob Casey (D) who has held the seat since 2007 and the GOP believes is vulnerable.
"When it comes to their battle to win back the Senate majority in 2024, Republicans in Pennsylvania and beyond are aware they can’t be dogged by the same issues of “candidate quality” that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) himself admitted sank the GOP’s chances for the majority in 2022," the report states." Controversial candidates who came out of crowded primaries and brought their baggage with them cost Republicans their best chances to win Senate seats—not only Oz in Pennsylvania, but Herschel Walker in Georgia, Blake Masters in Arizona, and Don Bolduc in New Hampshire."
Democrats in the state are keeping a close eye on the GOP maneuvering and are hoping for a repeat of 2022 — particularly if Trump is on the ticket and more of his hand-picked candidates create havoc in the primary.
They are also doing their part to already do damage to McCormick well before that point.
According to Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson Jack Doyle, "McCormick is a damaged candidate who spent millions and millions of dollars embracing the most radical fringes of the Republican base and still lost the primary to a quack doctor who has even less connection to Pennsylvania than McCormick himself. If he does decide to run again, we can expect another nasty GOP primary.”
You can read more here.