Pennsylvania's sleepy Senate race could still play key role


Bob Casey (D-PA) on Tuesday - but his margin of victory wasn't exactly awe-inspiring.

Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta was projected to defeat state Rep. Jim Christiana Tuesday within the Republican main to find out who will face incumbent Democratic Sen.

Barletta, 62, who rocketed to national prominence thanks to his battles against crime and illegal immigrants while mayor, also was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump's bid for the White House, and has enjoyed President Trump's support.

Scott Wagner will run against Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf after winning the GOP gubernatorial primary. These results are unlikely to calm their nerves.

In the recording, President Trump cheered Barletta for serving as one of the first congressmen to endorse him in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

Barletta has lagged in the fundraising race, collecting almost $1.3 million in 2018's first quarter and ending with $1.6 million on hand, compared to Casey's almost $10 million on hand.

Casey, a fierce Trump critic, is seeking a third six-year term.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court added another wrinkle to the race in February, when it redrew the district boundaries in a way many observers considered favorable to Democrats.

Two of the president's favored candidates, Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania and Deb Fischer in Nebraska, won their U.S. Senate primaries. Wallace, who has spent heavily on the race, has fought allegations of carpetbagging over his move back to his home state from Maryland after he reportedly was recruited to run.

Pennsylvania could send at least three women Congress next year, breaking the all-male hold on the state's 18-member U.S. House delegation.

And in Oregon, Republicans are choosing their candidate to take on Democratic Gov. Kate Brown in the fall.

Casey, the son of a late former governor, has strong name recognition and has won five statewide elections, including two as auditor general and one as state treasurer. Guy Reschenthaler in the GOP primary for the deep-red 14th District in western Pennsylvania.

And so, the candidates from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties make President Donald Trump the focal point of the senate race that begins tonight.

Eastman defeated former Rep. Brad Ashford in Tuesday's primary election with a campaign that cast her as a champion of liberal ideals, including supporting a single-payer health care system.

Casey was first elected to the Senate in 2006. Casey is one of 10 democratic senators who represent a state won by Trump in 2016.

Barely any outside money has made its way into Pennsylvania thus far to help Casey or Barletta, making it unlikely that Pennsylvanians will see a repeat of the record-breaking $180 million U.S. Senate race in 2016 that Republican Sen.