Mastriano

Republican Terrifies the Left With Unorthodox Campaign

Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has exploded onto the political scene after an upset victory in the Republican primary race. When liberals say that the state senator and aspiring governor has built a cult following, they don’t mean it as a compliment. Mastriano, accused of running as a “Christian nationalist” has run an explicitly faith-centric campaign that has galvanized Pennsylvania conservatives and inspired passionate interest in what was supposed to be the less interesting statewide race of 2022.

Mastriano wins a following

Mastriano, who spent most of his life in the United States Army, hasn’t lost any of the commanding personality and personal charisma that made him a successful officer.

On the campaign trail he has not shied away from his military past; his Twitter account consists largely of daily tributes to fallen Pennsylvania servicemen and he paused his campaign to honor Memorial Day in his full dress uniform.

He also hasn’t shied away from running first and foremost as a Christian, though he rejects the “Christian nationalist” label.

Most Republicans will mention God in their campaigns; Mastriano keeps God at the center of every campaign appearance and rally.

The state’s Republican establishment finds this somewhat alarming, but conservative voters are flocking to the Mastriano campaign and gave him a landslide victory in a crowded primary field.

Both parties now are asking where the ceiling is for Mastriano’s support. That question has been haunting Republicans for months, now it is haunting Democrats as well.

Shapiro underestimates his opponent

Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro celebrated Mastriano’s nomination and ran ads encouraging Republicans to choose him in the party’s primary, believing that he is too unconventional to win a general election.

If that sounds familiar then it may be because Hillary Clinton felt similarly about Donald Trump in 2016. Trump unexpectedly won Pennsylvania in that election,  and some Democrats fear that Mastriano could repeat his feat in 2022.

Republicans are expected to do very well in this year’s midterm elections thanks to President Biden’s abysmal approval ratings. Biden will likely be Shapiro’s greatest weakness as he attempts to convince voters that his opponent is too extreme.

Mastriano points out that he is only seen as a far right candidate because the country has been taken over by the far left; he claims that his campaign is a return to sanity and traditional American values.

Support for his candidacy has been overwhelmingly grassroots, and by the time Republican higher-ups in Pennsylvania realized what was happening in the primary there wasn’t much they could do to stop it.

Josh Shapiro and the Democrats are already celebrating their victory and making plans to shift their attention to other races. Underestimating Doug Mastriano, however, might prove to be much more dangerous than Shapiro anticipated.

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