Keystone Clash – Pennsylvania politics back in spotlight



Clouds dot the sky above the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

As the infamous epicenter for contentious political outcomes throughout the last few decades, it comes to no staunch revelation that Pennsylvania once again finds itself in yet another electoral toss-up, with the country’s ideological future in the balance. Several high-stakes races have earned nationwide attention and surveillance for the Keystone State, as such campaigns pulse with popularized political currents conditioning midterm elections across the country. 

Pennsylvania elections most prominent in recent headlines include an open race for governor between a Trump-endorsed political outsider and a veteran to the moderate Democratic establishment. In addition, a personality-driven, increasingly volatile contest for Senate seats, has the potential to dictate the future of abortion rights and objective election integrity among a multitude of other political buzz factors. 

Alluding to this premise, the conventions of both parties have taken extensive efforts to usher their presence and influences in the battleground state, as these campaigns will decide party controls over several governmental chambers. President Biden has addressed the nation from Pennsylvanian towns in just the first two weeks of September alone, highlighting his grievances with the intertwining of Trumpism and the Republican party. Donald Trump, the first Republican president to achieve election victories in the state in three decades prior to 2016, commenced with his trail of endorsement efforts over the past few weeks, kickstarting the unofficial inception of the general election.

Even through these substantial endeavors of each party, Pennsylvania will still be poised to assess if the political realignment of Trumpist ideals will still maintain grounding after Philadelphia suburbs like Montgomery and Bucks County heavily rejected his brand in 2020, while many white working-class voters further west abandoned Democrats to embrace him.

Throughout the aforementioned politically complex atmosphere of the state where voters usually advance moderate and consensus-following candidates, democratic State Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, is progressing his race for governor against right-wing State Senator Doug Mastriano, a figure with staunch conservative views ranging from election conspiracy towards opposing abortion rights. 

In the running for the US Senate, Democratic candidate John Fetterman, with his brandings of a humble Pennsylvanian resident recently recovering from a stroke, is advancing a campaign against Republican figure Dr. Mehmet Oz, a celebrity physician.

Fetterman has utilized his down-to-earth brand to accumulate a strong social media presence, which he employs to mock his campaign rival, Dr. Oz, for his supposed out-of-touch policies on fiscal responsibilities and abortion rights that he proposes. Fetterman also doesn’t hesitate to detail the primary residence of Dr. Oz being in New Jersey instead of Pennsylvania, where he insinuates the foundational aspects of political opportunism rooted in the Oz campaign. In retaliation, coalitions backing Oz have scrutinized Fetterman for his lack of public appearance, supposedly due to his recovery efforts after his untimely stroke, and instead pinpointed the reason as to why being due to his impaled intellectual incapabilities to properly participate in offered publicized discourse and debate.

In coordination with the Fetterman campaign, Josh Shapiro has heavily rooted his running assurances for Governor to maintaining women’s rights initiatives, especially in the face of efforts across the country to restrict or even ban access to abortion. Pennsylvania’s Republican State Legislature, in accordance to the views of Doug Mastriano’s campaign views and promises, hopes to follow common trends of abortion restrictions and enact laws across the state permitting to such ideals. Abortion has been a major topic within the race, as Shapiro acts as a proponent in shutting down any of these bans that are prevalent in deep red states, while simultaneously branding Mastriano far too extreme for the position as per his apparent inclinations.

Pennsylvania elections pose a constant pivotal role in setting down political climates, trends, and general ideals for the entire country. Elections for both positions of Governor and Senate commence on November 8th, 2022. If able, make sure to register to vote by October 24th in order to cast your ballot.