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The GOP’s Sad Night in the Red Wave That Wasn’t Teaches Us Five Lessons

According to The Associated Press, Democratic attorney general of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro won the election for governor early on Wednesday. Doug Mastriano, a Republican who was instrumental in efforts to invalidate Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results, was defeated by him.

As a somewhat moderate Democrat who is concerned with the economy, education, public safety, abortion rights, and democratic protections, Mr. Shapiro has positioned himself. He made every effort to depict Mr. Mastriano as an extremist whose opinions were way outside of the political mainstream and harmed the fabric of the Commonwealth. Democratic governor Tom Wolf is currently serving his final term.

Mr. Mastriano is an election skeptic who promised to introduce extensive new voting restrictions. He paid for buses to transport followers to the gathering on January 6, 2021, which preceded the attack on the Capitol. After Roe v. Wade was overruled by the Supreme Court and state control over abortion policy was restored, Mr. Mastriano’s vehement opposition to abortion in almost all situations became a crucial campaign issue. At a debate earlier this year, when asked if he thought there should be any exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the pregnant woman, he responded, “I don’t give a route for exceptions.”

Republicans publicly split from Mr. Mastriano, and the Republican Governors Association never gave him any financial backing. By spending tens of millions of dollars more than Mr. Mastriano, Mr. Shapiro dominated the airwaves and outraised him significantly. Despite the fact that it is uncommon for supporters of one politician to switch their allegiance to another, Mr. Shapiro was able to win over a number of organizations who had backed Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for Senate.

In a startling way, the Pennsylvania governor’s election was heavily influenced by religious issues and worries about antisemitism. Mr. Mastriano, who supports Christian power, made it clear that he disdained the division of church and state in a place where the state constitution’s preamble emphasized religious freedom. He also criticized Mr. Shapiro, an observant Jew, for sending his kids to a Jewish day school, which he labeled “rich, exclusive, elite,” and said that this demonstrated Mr. Shapiro’s “disdain for people like us.”

Additionally, his campaign donated $5,000 to the far-right website Gab, where the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect had posted anti-Semitic rants. Mr. Mastriano stated that he condemned “antisemitism in any form” when pressed. However, a report on his campaign finances from late September revealed that he had accepted a $500 gift from Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab, in July.

At a rally on Saturday, Mr. Shapiro said of his rival, “If you don’t look like him, if you don’t vote like him, if you don’t pray like him, if you don’t marry like him, you don’t count in his Pennsylvania.” Now that he is in a crucial presidential battleground state, Mr. Shapiro is set to have a significant national platform. In response to a question about whether he wanted to be the first Jewish president in an interview this fall, he answered, “No!”

I’ll get the chance to be governor, God willing,” he remarked. “I am only focused on doing that.” A national political reporter, Katie Glueck. She previously served as The Times’ lead reporter for the Biden campaign and chief political correspondent for Metro. She also reported on politics for Politico and the Washington office of McClatchy.

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