Key question for Keystone State Republicans

The question for [Pennsylvania]’s primary voters is: How do you like your populism? Do you want it raw and true, instinctive and gut-sourced, warts and all? Or do you want it meticulously manufactured, recently acquired and worn like a neat-fitting suit? Do you want authenticity in your next senator—and your party—however deranged it may sound at times? Or do you want a convincing salesman, a neophyte with pitch-perfect recall, able to recite on demand the full lexicon of Trumpian populism while registering only the merest blip on the lie detector?

The choice arises as a result of the sudden rise to contention of conservative commentator and military veteran Kathy Barnette. Her surge in the polls is a reminder of how much some voters crave something genuine. Outspent some 25 to 1 by her well-heeled opponents—television physician Mehmet Oz and hedge-fund manager and former Bush administration official David McCormick—she is nonetheless close in the polls.

Gerald Baker, Wall Street Journal

May 17, 2022

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