Prognosticator Shifts Pennsylvania Governor’s Race To ‘Lean Dem’ After Mastriano’s Win

CHAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 17: Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano gives a victory speech at his election-night party at The Orchards on May 17, 2022 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Mastriano, who ... CHAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 17: Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano gives a victory speech at his election-night party at The Orchards on May 17, 2022 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Mastriano, who was the front runner heading into today's primary, led the field with 44.7 percent of the vote with 86 percent reporting. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) MORE LESS

The Cook Political Report changed its rating of the Pennsylvania governor’s race from “toss up” to “lean Democratic” after far-right state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) easily won his party’s primary Tuesday night. 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro was running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Mastriano more than doubled the vote share of his next-closest competitor, former congressman Lou Barletta. 

“Pennsylvania Republicans had been wringing their hands for weeks, worried that if state Sen. Doug Mastriano — the chief disciple perpetuating former President Trump’s false stolen election narrative in the state –— won the primary for governor, they’d lose a prime opportunity in an incredibly favorable climate to flip the open governor’s race back to their control,” wrote the Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter, Jessica Taylor and David Wasserman. “That political nightmare became a reality on Tuesday night, as Mastriano easily won the nomination over other high-spending rivals by 25 points.”

Shapiro wasted no time underscoring the extreme beliefs of his newly minted opponent.

“Pennsylvanians need a Governor who can meet this moment, but Republicans just nominated a dangerous extremist who wants to take away our freedoms,” he said in a statement Tuesday night. “The contrast in this election could not be clearer – Doug Mastriano wants to ban abortion without exceptions, restrict the right to vote and spread conspiracy theories, and destroy the union way of life for hard working Pennsylvanians.”

Mastriano made his name on efforts to overturn the 2020 election, holding hearings and lobbying the legislature to conduct an “audit.” He organized buses to travel to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, and recently spoke at a conference put on by QAnon activists and permeated by conspiracy theories, old and new. He has openly embraced the Christian nationalist movement at his back.

Shaprio will position himself in contrast, theming his campaign on “freedom” — to have an abortion and other matters of bodily autonomy, to vote and to work with dignity. 

Mastriano will paint himself as a warrior sent by God to restore the country to its former glory. 

“We are going to have the last word,” Mastriano told an election-night crowd, wearing a tie emblazoned with: “With God all things are possible.” 

“Put on your seatbelts,” he said, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News. “We are about to take our state back.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: