Polls close in wide-open Pennsylvania primaries for House, Senate

The race for U.S. Senate is set with Congressman Lou Barletta winning the Republican primary

The U.S. Senate race between the Democrat from Scranton and the Republican from Hazleton is on.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta won the Republican primary for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania tonight, besting a lesser-known challenger in Beaver County-based state Rep. Jim Christiana and positioning himself as the Republican Party's hope for ousting longtime Democratic incumbent Bob Casey come November.

"Barletta is going to try to make this race about Casey, and Casey is going to try to make it about Trump".

Mr. Barletta, a four-term lawmaker and supporter of President Trump's tough immigration policies, easily defeated state Rep. Jim Christiana of Beaver County by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent, with almost three-fourths of the votes counted.

That's not exactly a huge margin for Barletta, a longtime congressman who had the explicit endorsement of the President - and who spent almost $2 million on the race to just $250,000 for Christiana.

The GOP controls the Senate 51 to 49.

Casey is one of 10 Democratic senators who represent a state won by Trump, putting a target on his back for Republicans.

Why is Trump supporting Barletta?

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A familiar name - Rick Saccone, the former state lawmaker who lost to Lamb in March - is on the ballot in Pennsylvania's 14th District.

Still, defeating Casey in November's election is a tall order. Fischer is expected to face Lincoln City Councilwoman Jane Raybould, a Democrat, in the general election.

Barletta and Republicans like him across the country are taking a different tack than Democrats did in 2014 when, aware that the president's party tends to lose seats in midterms, they distanced themselves from Barack Obama. Guy Reschenthaler for the open seat in a heavily Republican, newly drawn district.

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.

The Braddock mayor's victory means he will run on a ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall. Though Nebraska has elected conservative-leaning Democrats to the Senate in the past decade, pundits nevertheless expect Fischer to be easily re-elected. Although Omaha's strong Democratic core is balanced out by more conservative suburbs, the district gives Democrats a fighting chance of capturing a congressional seat in a state that is otherwise overwhelmingly Republican.

Barletta raised nearly $3 million to Christiana's $274,000 but spent little of it on the primary, which he appeared to view as a small hurdle on the track toward November.

Buehler, who ran for secretary of state in 2012, was the most centrist of the Republican front-runners. Brown became governor in 2015 upon the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber following an ethics scandal, and she won a special election in 2016.

OR is reliably Democratic.

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