Pennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano’s campaign ‘sputtering’ with tiny rallies and no ads

Doug Mastriano, the Pennsylvania state senator who rode to the GOP gubernatorial nomination on a platform of election denial and overt appeals to Christian nationalism, struggled to draw more than a few dozen people to a rally at the state capitol in Harrisburg on Saturday.

According to the New York Times, Mr Mastriano’s event was in the same spot where he’d drawn a crowd of thousands at an April 2020 rally against Covid-19 mitigation measures, but unlike that prior event his audience this time consisted mostly of his own campaign staffers. The report described Mr Mastriano’s campaign as “sputtering”.

Although the Pennsylvania state senator is set to hold a “tele-rally” with former president Donald Trump on Tuesday evening, his campaign has placed no orders for television ads and has notably refused to engage with legitimate news outlets. He also trails his opponent, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, by significant margins, according to public polling data.

But Mr Mastriano’s campaign won’t be getting much help to close that deficit with advertising from the Republican Governors’ Association. The Times reports that the RGA “has no current plans to assist Mr Mastriano”.

A win for the Army veteran, who embraced Mr Trump’s stolen election lies with such gusto that it propelled him to the top of the GOP gubernatorial field, would potentially give him the power to hijack the Keystone State’s elections and keep any Democrat from carrying the state in 2024.