Chaotic Pennsylvania Primaries Reach Finish Line as 5 States Hold Primaries

Pennsylvania’s chaotic primary races for Senate and governor are the marquee races of Tuesday’s primaries across five states.


Pennsylvania’s chaotic primary races for Senate and governor are the marquee races of Tuesday’s primary elections in five states. North Carolina, Oregon, Idaho, and Kentucky also select their state and congressional nominees today.

  • As-seen-on-TV Doctor Mehmet Oz, Donald Trump’s pick for US Senate in Pennsylvania, is struggling to break out of a three-way tie between himself, former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick, and dark horse candidate commentator Kathy Barnette, who roared into contention in the race’s final days.
  • Democrats seem likely to nominate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley to contest the open Republican-held Senate seats in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, respectively.
  • Pennsylvania Republicans mounted a last-ditch effort to stop state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who won a last-minute Trump endorsement, from winning the gubernatorial nomination.
  • Mastriano tried to overturn Trump’s 2020 Pennsylvania defeat and many party leaders fear the state senator, who was present on the Capitol grounds during the January 6 Capitol riot, would lose the general election decisively to Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
  • Idaho Gov. Brad Little is squaring off with his own Lt. Governor, Janice McGeachin, in the GOP primary. McGeachin is backed by Trump but Little has led in most recent polling.
  • Western NC Rep. Madison Cawthorn is in a dogfight for renomination after weeks of scandals and negative headlines despite winning Trump’s backing on Monday.
  • Moderate Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) are in danger of losing renomination to challengers’ closer to their party’s extremes. Democrats will also select nominees for deep-blue open seats in Pittsburgh, PA, Louisville, KY, and Eugene, OR.


reporting from the left side of the aisle

  • The New York Times profiled North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd, who is likely to ride Trump’s endorsement to the GOP nomination for Senate over ex-Gov. Pat McCrory.
  • The Washington Post covered Trump’s attacks on surging Pennsylvania GOP candidate Kathy Barnette. The former president said, “She hasn’t been properly vetted. She ran for Congress fairly recently, and she lost by 20 points.” He confirmed he stood behind Oz “all the way.”
  • Politico reported on Pennsylvania’s bitter GOP Senate primary between Oz, McCormick and Barnette. Polls show Oz clinging to a slim lead and McCormick still in the hunt. Barnette, whose “sudden rise…has stunned state and national Republicans” said she has “no intention” of endorsing either of her rivals should they win.

  • Fox News coverage of the Pennsylvania Senate race focused on GOP attacks on Barnette for her spotty resume and a litany of controversial statements. Republicans from Trump on down fear she could blow the general election to her likely rival, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported on a major last-minute shock in Pennsylvania’s Senate primary. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic frontrunner, suffered a stroke on Friday and will be hospitalized through Election Day, but his campaign said he is “resting and recovering.”
  • The Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito called Pennsylvania’s primary “anybody’s guess” due to the Barnette surge and Trump’s last-minute endorsement of Doug Mastriano.

Election Night Cheat Sheet

Polls Close

  • 6:00pm – Kentucky
  • 7:30pm – North Carolina
  • 8:00pm – Pennsylvania
  • 10:00pm – Idaho
  • 11:00pm – Oregon
  • Democratic Primaries: Establishment (E) v. Progressives (P)
Democratic Primaries: Establishment (E) v. Progressives (P)
  • OR Governor: ex-Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (P), state treasurer Tobias Read (E)
  • PA Senate: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (P), Rep. Conor Lamb (E), state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta
  • KY-03: state Sen. Morgan McGarvey (E), state Rep. Attica Scott (P)
  • Louisville mayor: attorney Craig Greenberg (E), activist Shameka Parrish-Wright (P)
  • NC-04: state Sen. Valerie Foushee (E), Durham Co. Comm. Nida Allam (P), American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken
  • OR-05: Rep. Kurt Schrader (E), ’18 House nominee Jamie McLeod-Skinner (P)
  • OR-06: Andrea Salinas (P), Carrick Flynn (E),
  • PA-12: attorney Steve Irwin (E), state Rep. Summer Lee (P), law professor Jerry Dickinson (P)
  • PA-17: attorney Chris Deluzio (E), LGBT activist Sean Meloy (P)
GOP Primaries: The Power of Trump’s Endorsement (T) Faces Another Test
  • ID Governor: Gov. Brad Little, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin (T)
  • NC Senate: Rep. Ted Budd (T), ex-Gov. Pat McCrory, Rep. Mark Walker
  • PA Senate: Dr. Mehmet Oz (T), commentator Kathy Barnette, hedge funder Dave McCormick, ex-Amb. Carla Sands, ’18 Lt. Gov. nominee Jeff Bartos
  • PA Governor: state Sen. Doug Mastriano (T), ex-Rep. Lou Barletta, ex-US Atty. Bill McSwain, ex-Delaware Co. Councilman Dave White
  • NC-11: Rep. Madison Cawthorn (T), state Sen. Chuck Edwards, activist Michele Woodhouse
  • NC-13: recent law school graduate Bo Hines (T), attorney Kelly Daughtry, ex-Rep. Renee Ellmers
Other GOP Primaries to Watch
  • OR Governor: ex-Oregon House minority leader Christine Drazan, ’16 nominee Bud Pierce, ’98 nominee Bill Sizemore, ex-Ore. GOP chair Bob Tiernan, Ore. Tech trustee Jessica Gomez
  • ID Atty. General: Atty. General Lawrence Wasden, ex-Rep. Raul Labrador
  • ID-02: Rep. Mike Simpson, ’14 candidate Bryan Smith
  • PA-17: ’18 state Sen. Nominee Jeremy Shaffer, writer Jason Killmeyer, ’18 Lt. Gov. candidate Kathy Coder

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© Dominic Moore, 2022