This year’s November midterm elections will be one to watch. Particularly in Pennsylvania, a purple state in past few elections, because it has 6 ultra-competitive and important races that could determine the majority in both chambers.
Dr. Oz is in a competitive race with Lieutenant Governor Fetterman. Congressman Scott Perry of the 10th district is currently trailing Sharmaine Daniels. In the 8th district, Incumbent Rep. Matt Cartwright is in a tight race with Jim Bognet. 7th district incumbent Susan Wild is trailing Lisa Scheller in a tight race. Rep. Fitzpatrick of the 1st district seeks his 4th congressional term in a race that he leads by 7 points vs Ashley Ehasz. The most competitive race in the whole state comes from the vacant 17th district race. Right now, Chris Deluzio holds a 1-point lead in the polls vs Jeremy Shaffer to replace Conor Lamb.
Perhaps the most important race in PA is in the Senate race. Lieutenant Governor Fetterman currently holds a narrow lead over Dr. Oz. Oz won a competitive primary and is likely to see his numbers increase as we near the election. This race is to fill the empty seat left by Senator Patrick Toomey who is now retiring.
House and Senate Overall
Democrats hold the Senate majority by a Vice Presidential vote. With several incumbents up for reelection in swing states, the Fetterman/Oz race has the national media’s eye. At the moment, projections show that it’s likely that the House will flip to Republican lead, while Democrats will hold onto a slim lead in the Senate. Pennsylvania is hosting some of the most important in this year’s midterm election, particularly in the Senate. RPG is following closely so we can prepare appropriately for any of the potential Congressional realignments.
Committee Implications in the Senate
With plenty of retirements and the potential of a majority change, the Senate is going to see new faces in committee leadership. For starters, with Patrick Toomey retiring, the New Ranking Member or Chairman of the Banking Committee is likely to be Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. Both Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Richard Shelby are retiring from their Appropriations Leadership slots, meaning Senators Patty Murry and Susan Collins are the likely Ranking Member or Chair of the Committee. This would mark the first time two women lead the Appropriations Committee.
Since Murray is likely moving to the leadership position on Appropriations, the Senate HELP Committee could be chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders, who will share leadership responsibilities with Senator Rand Paul, who is up for leadership due to Richard Burr’s retirement. Senator Portman of Ohio is retiring, and the Ranking Member of the House Homeland Committee leaves presumed Senator Lankford.
Current Ranking Member of Rules, Senator Roy Blunt is retiring, leaving the Republican leadership of the Rules Committee potentially in Senator Ted Cruz’s hands. However, he is likely to take the top slot on Commerce, replacing retiring Senator Wicker, so Senator Deb Fischer is the next most senior GOP member who is not already in party leadership or leading a committee, and she is likely to lead the Rules Committee.
Senator Paul moving up on HELP means that Senator Jodi Ernst could be the new Republican leader on Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Senator Inhofe is retiring, leaving the Armed Services Republican spot open, potentially to be filled by Senator Wicker. Finally, with Senator Scott moving up on the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Braun could be the Republican lead on the Committee on Aging.
So many new positions in Committee leadership up for grabs means that this election has many consequences, especially in the Senate. Pennsylvania will have the political microscope on them as November quickly approaches. The winner of the Fetterman and Oz case could determine who is the Chair and who is the Ranking Member. Ridge Policy Group, a top DC lobbying firm, will be following this and all the national elections closely so we can be as prepared as possible for the up and coming 118th Congress.