This high-stakes primary in Pennsylvania could determine Democrats’ swing state playbook

The two Senate Democrats widely blamed for stalling President Joe Biden's agenda have become a top issue in the Democratic primary in one of America's most closely watched midterm races.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have been resistant to Biden's agenda as he attempts to pass his Build Back Better agenda and pass voting rights protection.

"In the high-stakes primary for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, a debate is raging over what it means to be a loyal Democrat in the Biden era. How voters answer that question could help determine the new playbook for Democrats running in battleground states," Politico reported Tuesday. "The frontrunner in the Democratic contest, Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, anchors one end of the ideological pole. He is harshly critical of the role that Manchin and Sinema have played in opposing major parts of President Joe Biden’s social spending bill. At the other end is moderate Rep. Conor Lamb, who has positioned himself against the party’s left wing."

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh are also running while criticizing Manchin.

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"Fetterman, a progressive who endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016, is a tattooed, six-foot-eight former mayor of a struggling steel town. His supporters argue that he can win back working-class white and rural voters who’ve fled the Democratic Party with his populist message and not-your-typical-politician persona," Politico reported. "Lamb, who won a district that Trump carried by about 20 points, also makes the case that he has the ability to flip white working-class as well as suburban voters. But he cuts a more moderate profile. He personally opposes abortion (though he has voted to support abortion rights) and is a vocal critic of defunding the police. To him, Manchin is not a dirty word — he recently held a fundraiser with the West Virginia senator."

The frontrunner's approach seems to be connecting with the Democratic base.

"John Fetterman’s campaign war chest is dwarfing the coffers of his opponents early in the race for U.S. Senate," the Tribune-Review reported in October. "Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Democratic lieutenant governor and former Braddock mayor, has outraised and outspent every other candidate in the crowded field vying to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, records show. From Jan. 1 through mid-October, Fetterman raised nearly $9.3 million — at least triple and up to more than 10 times what more than two dozen fellow candidates have raked in thus far, according to forms filed with the Federal Election Commission."

Lamb's team has attempted to label Fetterman a socialist, but Politico noted his campaign has failed to back up. the charge.

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