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New Poll in Pennsylvania Cements PA GOP Primary as a Messy Race to the Far-Right

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With just under a year until Election Day, Pennsylvania Republicans are still mostly unswayed by the crowded field of GOP candidates for governor. However, new polling is showing that candidates with far-right positions are taking hold over GOP voters, setting up the primary as a sprint to the right.

A new Public Policy Polling survey found right-wing extremist Doug Mastriano leading a chaotic field of Republican candidates. 18% of Republican voters listed Mastriano as their first choice for the GOP nomination while 14% of Republicans listed Trump-loyalist Lou Barletta as their first pick.

The poll spells trouble for the other six candidates in the race, who all failed to receive more than 4% support from Republicans. 56% of GOP voters said they are still “not sure” who they’d support for the Republican nomination.

So far, the only candidates resonating with Republicans are those furthest to the right. Now, the other candidates in the field will have to double down on their extremism if they want a shot at winning over Republicans who are still making up their minds.

The candidates in the race are already squaring off to prove their loyalty to Donald Trump and his right-wing agenda. Every single one of the Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidates support Trump’s unnecessary and costly partisan audit of the 2020 election, with many going even further. Doug Mastriano played a direct role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Lou Baretta refused to admit Trump lost the election, and Joe Gale has promised to “continue advancing the Trump movement.” 

Additionally, Trump appointee Bill McSwain tried to prove his loyalty to Trump’s lies in a secret letter discussing voting fraud, even though he didn’t prosecute any cases of voter fraud stemming from the 2020 election as a U.S. Attorney.

“This primary is shaping up to be a bruising contest for a base that demands loyalty to far-right positions above all else,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “After spending months fighting to woo the most extreme wings of the Republican Party, whoever makes it to the general election will emerge with an agenda so unrecognizable from the values that matter to Pennsylvanians, it’ll be impossible to walk back from.”