Trump says surging Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary candidate Barnette cannot win general election

Trump is behind Dr. Mehmet Oz to win the open Senate seat

Updated: May 12, 2022 - 3:46pm

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Former PresidentTrump on Thursday criticized Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Kathy Barnette, who's in a tight, three-way race for with his endorsed candidate for the nomination, saying she cannot win in November.

"Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats," Trump said in a statement from his Save America PAC. "She has many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted, but if she is able to do so, she will have a wonderful future in the Republican Party – and I will be behind her all the way."

In recent days, Barnette, a military veteran and political commentator, has surged in the polls.

The latest Real Clear Politics polls average shows her moving past hedge-funder David McCormick into second place – just points behind frontrunner and Trump-backed pick Dr. Mehmet Oz. 

Trump in the statement again underscored his support for Oz, writing, he's "the only one who will be able to easily defeat the Crazed, Lunatic Democrat in Pennsylvania. A vote for anyone else in the Primary is a vote against Victory in the Fall!"

He was likely referring to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who has a double-digit lead over the Democrat primary field, according to the RCP polling average.

On Tuesday, the conservative group Club for Growth surprised the field when it booked $2 million worth of TV ads in support of Barnette just one week out from the primary.

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