The Pennsylvania Senate race is the best pickup opportunity for Democrats. With Republican Sen. Pat Toomey retiring, it’s a vacant seat, and only one of two GOP-held seats up in 2022 where President Joe Biden won.
But both sides have crowded primaries that expose potential minefields, emblematic of the larger philosophical struggles each party has. For Democrats, could a nominee who’s too far to the left endanger one of their best chances to flip a seat? And for Republicans, will candidates trying to appeal to loyal Trump voters and to the former president himself doom them in the general election?
This is a seat that has long vexed Democrats — Republicans have controlled it since 1969, except for a brief time in 2009 and 2010 when Arlen Specter switched to become a Democrat (before he lost that primary in the midterms). Toomey won that race against Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak by just 80,229 votes, and in 2016 the GOP incumbent defeated Democrat Katie McGinty by 86,690 votes as Donald Trump won the state by 44,284 votes. In 2018
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