Trump-backed Doug Mastriano’s odds of beating Josh Shapiro: polls

Republican Doug Mastriano is aiming to have the governor’s residence in Harrisburg red, but recent polls suggest his Democratic opponent, Josh Shapiro, is leading the midterm contest in Pennsylvania.

Mastriano, a state senator who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is a prominent proponent of claims that the 2020 election was “rigged” or “stolen” in favor of President Joe Biden. He also took part in the pro-Trump riot outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, apparently breaking through police barricades. Mastriano said he avoided the barricades, but pictures and videos show he drove past them.

In Pennsylvania, the governor appoints the state’s top election official, the secretary of the commonwealth. As a result, critics have warned that a victory for Mastriano could potentially have disastrous consequences for future elections.

Recent polls show Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, leading the race. A June 12-19 survey by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates/Impact Research for AARP showed the Democrat ahead by 3 points. Shapiro was supported by 49 percent of likely Pennsylvania voters to Mastriano’s 46 percent. The poll polled 500 respondents and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Democratic candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro (right), is ahead of his Republican opponent, Doug Mastriano, in recent polls. Above, Mastriano delivers a victory speech on his primary election night at The Orchards on May 17 in Chambersburg. Shapiro speaks with people while waiting for a speech by President Joe Biden at Mack Truck Lehigh Valley Operations on July 28, 2021 in Macungie.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Another recent survey conducted by the University of Suffolk/USA today showed Shapiro ahead by 4 points. Shapiro had the support of 44% of likely voters, compared to 40% for Mastriano. This poll was conducted from June 10 to 13 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points among 500 respondents.

Pennsylvania went for Biden by 1.2% in 2020. He won the state with 50% of the vote to Trump’s 48.8%. Trump narrowly won the state in 2016, but before that Pennsylvania had gone for Democratic presidential candidates in every race since 1992.

Following the 2020 election, Pennsylvania became a key part of Trump’s claims that the results were “rigged” against him. No evidence has emerged supporting the claims, but the former president and Mastriano continue to promote them.

Trump’s former attorney general William Barr, who was widely considered one of the most loyal members of the former president’s cabinet, testified before the House Select Committee investigating the Trump riot. Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, claiming the rigged election claims were “bulls**t.” He explained that he told Trump to his face after asking the Justice Department to review them.

“I was like, ‘Dude, if he really believes in this stuff, he’s lost touch with…he’s disconnected from reality if he really believes in this stuff,'” Barr told the House investigators.

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