Super PAC signals Pennsylvania primary could get tough

Unlike the bloodbath that took place in the Pennsylvania Republican primary, the competition on the Democratic side was a relatively subdued affair. Fetterman and Lamb have not touched each other on TV, and no outside Democratic group has aired attack ads on TV That is.

The nine-page slide deck released by Penn Progress after a recent fundraising appeal with donors suggests that this may soon change.

The document highlights the testing of aggressive negative messages against Fetterman, who is the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, including that he is a “dangerous radical who proudly calls himself a socialist”, “supports far-left policies such as a government takeover of $34 trillion in health care”, and has “spoken at Defund the Police rallies and wants to release convicted felons onto our streets”.

The Fetterman campaign sought to blame Lamb himself, rather than an independent super PAC, for any attack to come from the Democratic side.

“Conor was unable to gain traction with the Democrats, so he decided to run as a Republican and use the Fox News talking points to attack a fellow Democrat,” the racketeer said. word of Fetterman, Joe Calvello. “This is a desperate move by a campaign that has been unable to raise funds on its own and hasn’t broken through with anyone except some political insiders.”

Abby Nassif-Murphy, Lamb’s campaign manager, fired back: “This material is not from our campaign. But the fact that John Fetterman thinks only Fox News Republicans oppose socialism, defunding the police and banning all private health insurance shows how out of touch he is and why Republicans are dying. want to run against him in the fall.

A recent email promoting the pro-Lamb group to potential donors said the congressman would join an upcoming appeal, after which a super PAC leader would speak. Although many Democrats bristle at the practice, it’s legal for candidates to talk to PAC super donors and even attend their fundraisers, as long as they don’t personally request contributions greater than their own. campaign finance limits.

Fetterman’s campaign previously said he never called himself a socialist and did not support defunding the police.

Fetterman took other progressive positions, such as senator’s endorsement. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 presidential race and supporting Medicare for All, but not as enthusiastically as some on the left.

As chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, he has prioritized supporting clemency petitions from lifers who claim to be innocent or honest prisoners.

Erik Smith, executive director of Penn Progress, said that “without the ability to examine [POLITICO’s] source material, I cannot confirm that it is valid and has not been modified.

He added: “We are proud to support Conor Lamb in this race. All of our primary and general election polls show that Conor Lamb is our strongest asset to win this seat. It shows Lamb has room to grow and he’s proven he can win tough elections in a Trump district.

The slideshow created by the super PAC shows that most Democratic voters want a moderate candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race, but do not currently view Fetterman as progressive. He also argues that Fetterman’s liberal ideas are a risk in the general election.

The document cites a poll from the May 17 primary, which was conducted by Impact Research in early February, which found that 47% of likely primary voters are for Fetterman, compared to 17% for Lamb, 7% for Malcolm Kenyatta, 5% for Sharif Street, and 3% for Val Arkoosh. Thirteen percent are undecided.

According to the poll, Fetterman is also supported by 40% of Democratic voters who prefer a moderate candidate, a plurality. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

In the weeks following the survey on the ground, the contours of the race have changed. Both Fetterman and Lamb began airing television commercials. Lamb has also received endorsements from groups such as the Philadelphia Democratic Party and the National Organization for Women’s Political Action Committee. Kenyatta, who struggled to raise funds but won notable mentions, also received endorsements from state legislators.

Arkoosh gave up when completing the survey. Street announced that he was does not run for senate some time before, in January.

The presentation also presented a separate investigation carried out in mid-February into a possible general election confrontation. He revealed that Fetterman initially led celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz by 9 percentage points, while Lamb was ahead by 3.

Against former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, Fetterman started 3 points behind. It didn’t show how Lamb fared against McCormick.

After facing negative messages, Fetterman trailed Oz by 1 point and McCormick by 12. The presentation did not show how attacks on Fetterman affected his position in the primary race. Nor did it demonstrate the impact of the negative messages against Lamb on him.

The slide deck made no mention of testing what is considered one of Fetterman’s biggest liabilities: a 2013 incident when he pulled a gun on an unarmed black man as mayor of Braddock. Fetterman said he believed the man may have been fleeing a shooting and he did not know the man’s race or gender at the time.

Penn Progress announced on a recent call that it had raised $1.5 million, a figure that included future donor commitments, according to the call’s source. The super PAC previously said it hoped to raise more than $8 million.

In the Republican primary, a pro-McCormick group, Honor Pennsylvania, has already spent or earmarked more than that on advertising.


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