Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey Jr. beat out his Republican challenger Rep. Lou Barletta to retain his seat on Tuesday night.
Despite a strong effort from Barletta, he was never able to catch up to Casey in the polls prior to the election. The RealClearPolitics average had Casey ahead by over 14 points and they labeled this race as “likely blue,” which is their second most confident label for a race.
The race did feature an ugly component. Sen. Casey used twin children with cancer in an ad to serve as a proxy for his stance on health care policy. The ad was a response to Barletta’s vote in favor of the American Health Care Act. (RELATED: Trump Endorses Lou Barletta For Senate)
But the timing was the real problem: the ad aired after Barletta told Casey that his grandson had been diagnosed with cancer.
During one of their debates, Barletta brought the ad up, saying, “My family was affected, I had pleaded to him, to please take the ad down,” Barletta said. “He said that his answer was that votes have consequences and you will be held accountable in November, certainly didn’t seem like he was sorry.”
Casey then apologized for the ad, explaining that he did not make the connection. (RELATED: Lou Barletta Calls Out Bob Casey For Hurtful Ad: ‘The Lowest Thing I’ve Ever Experienced’)
Each of the candidates had a president rallying on his behalf. President Donald Trump endorsed Barletta after Barletta endorsed then-candidate Trump. The president has held two rallies in Pennsylvania for Barletta — one in August and another in October.
Lou Barletta will be a great Senator for Pennsylvania but his opponent, Bob Casey, has been a do-nothing Senator who only shows up at election time. He votes along the Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren lines, loves sanctuary cities, bad and expensive healthcare…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2018
Trump won Pennsylvania during the 2016 presidential election. It was the first time the state went for the Republican presidential candidate since 1988 when George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis.
Conversely, President Obama held a rally in Philadelphia in September on behalf of Casey and Democratic gubernatorial incumbent Tom Wolf.
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