Republicans Quickly Unite Behind Dave McCormick for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania

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Republicans throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and around the country are quickly uniting behind businessman and veteran Dave McCormick for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania in 2024 after he launched his campaign on Thursday evening in Pittsburgh.

McCormick, who ran in 2022 but lost a bitter and close primary by less than a thousand votes to television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, announced another bid in 2024 on Thursday night and this time things feel very different.

That brutal primary got bitter and personal, and Oz won by 951 votes. Oz went on to lose the general election to now Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). McCormick in his announcement speech on Tuesday talked about having lost and learning from it, and also laid his vision for Pennsylvania and the nation arguing that Pennsylvanians deserve “leadership” instead of the “rubber stamp” for Democrat President Joe Biden that Democrat Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) has become.

Casey votes nearly 99 percent of the time with Biden. Fetterman, for his part, seems to understand Casey’s weakness and unpopularity and has literally been wearing a cutout of Casey’s face on his body around the Senate to try to drum up support for the failing senator.

In the immediate aftermath of McCormick’s 2024 campaign launch, the entire GOP congressional delegation from Pennsylvania—Reps. Dan Meuser (R-PA), Scott Perry (R-PA), John Joyce (R-PA), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), and Glenn Thompson (R-PA)—formally endorsed him. Also, in-state endorsements from nearly two-dozen GOP legislators in the state House and state Senate came quick after launch, and several top Republicans in Pennsylvania including fellow 2022 candidate Jeff Bartos came fast as well.

Even more big names in Pennsylvania GOP politics, including state party chairman Lawrence Tabas and former Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) among many others, signed a memorandum earlier in September in the lead-up to his campaign launch urging McCormick to run for the U.S. Senate.

Even former GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano—who some expected might run against McCormick—has been supportive saying in a recent interview with John Fredericks that he intends to back McCormick and has met with the candidate and his wife multiple times.

Asked if McCormick can win, Mastriano said “he can if the party unifies.”

File/Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Dave McCormick and his wife Dina Powell greet supporters as they arrive for his returns watch party in the Pennsylvania primary election, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

“If the party is going to play games like they did last year with my candidacy and hold back support, then he can’t win,” Mastriano said. “He’s facing Casey. But he can do it if Republicans stop playing games—he might be too conservative for some and he might be too moderate with ties to certain groups that there’s questions about. We need to unify on these candidacies. I’m the recipient last year of the party playing games internally… If we are divided statewide here, our guys will no longer be able to win statewide races. But I do believe he’s got a good shot. Rebby and I have met with him and his wife about a month or two ago and I’m seeing him again this week. Let me just really quick—he was a veteran of Desert Storm. He was in the 82nd airborne division. So there always are questions that each of us have—I’m pretty much satisfied with the answers he gave me. So it’s time to unify. Let’s get lazy Bob Casey out of office and put Dave McCormick in.”

Asked in a followup if he thinks he could support Dave McCormick early in the primary, Mastriano said he has another meeting with McCormick soon and that “yes, I’m not going to be part of the problem.”

“Absolutely, if he is our nominee, I am backing him and I will hold nothing back—we need to win,” Mastriano said.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) also formally backed McCormick, with chairman and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) saying in a statement that the committee is all in on backing him.

“Dave McCormick has done a remarkable job of unifying the grassroots in Pennsylvania,” Daines said. “A graduate of West Point, combat veteran and Pennsylvania job creator, Dave is exactly the type of candidate who can win both a primary and a general election in one of the most competitive states in the country. It’s great news that Dave is stepping up to serve our country once again.”

File/David McCormick attends an election night party in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Nate Smallwood/Bloomberg via Getty)

The NRSC is planning to host a fundraiser for McCormick next week in Washington, one that in addition to Daines boasts on the host committee Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, Senate GOP whip Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Senate GOP conference chair Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Todd Young (R-IN).

House GOP conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who endorsed McCormick during the 2022 campaign, was quick with an endorsement on Thursday night as he launched his campaign too.

The impressive show of unity from Republicans in-state, and nationally, is a bright sign for Republicans in their quest to retake a majority in the U.S. Senate. Republicans currently have 49 members, and Democrats have 51 when including “independents” who caucus with them.

To remove Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as the Majority Leader and give the GOP control of the chamber back, Republicans would need to flip a net two seats in November 2022.

The map is extremely favorable for their chances, too, as Republicans’ top pickup opportunities are in deep-red West Virginia and Montana, as well as in Ohio—a state getting redder by the minute.

Other opportunities for Republicans to take back seats include races in Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Virginia, and of course Pennsylvania. For what it’s worth, the indictment the Justice Department announced on Friday in New Jersey of longtime Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) could present an opportunity for Republicans there too.

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