Trump supporter Lou Barletta wins GOP nod to take on Sen. Casey

Tuesday's primary will narrow GOP gubernatorial, Senate fields

Voters to cast primary ballots in four states today

Barletta was heavily favored over state Rep. Jim Christiana to become the Republican challenger for Democratic Sen. Bob Casey's re-election bid.

Rep. Lou Barletta won Pennsylvania's Republican Senate primary Tuesday, setting up a challenge against two-term Democratic Sen.

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.

As for Senator Casey, he put out a statement saying this is a race between a US senator who stands up to President Trump when he is wrong versus a candidate who thinks President Trump can do no wrong. These results are unlikely to calm their nerves. In March, Saccone narrowly misplaced a U.S. Home particular election to Democrat Conor Lamb within the outdated 18th District, which overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2016.

This race could help determine whether republicans maintain control of the chamber.

Barletta has run for months as the GOP's presumptive nominee, targeting his criticism toward Casey. Trump recorded an automated telephone message praising Barletta that was sent to voters just before the primary.

An early supporter of Trump's during the 2016 election, Barletta jumped into the Senate race with the full backing of the president.

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"Lou is my guy, and I need him in the U.S. Senate", Trump says on the recording, according to Barletta's campaign.

Despite being the grandson of an immigrant, Barletta vowed the make the city "the toughest place on illegal immigrants in America".

The new congressional district map imposed by the state Supreme Court has encouraged lots of Democrats to run in this region for Congress. The 58-year-old Scranton native is the son of the late former governor, Robert P. Casey, and is possibly the best-known political name in Pennsylvania.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee congratulated Barletta on the win.

Casey goes into the general election with an edge - especially if Trump's approval ratings continue to remain underwater closer to the November election.

Casey also sported almost $10 million in campaign funds late last month as opposed to Barletta's $1.3 million, the network added. The incumbent- Sen. Bob Casey- is unopposed in the democratic race.

With the GOP holding a slim majority in the Senate - and midterm elections historically tilting toward the party out of power in the White House - Trump and the Republican Party are looking for every opening they can find to hold on to Senate seats and perhaps to flip others. Pat Toomey won by fewer than 2 percentage points.

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