Keystone fracture: Pennsylvania Republican sounds alarm that party rifts might be too much to overcome

Pennsylvania is shaping up as a key state in the 2024 election, and some are warning divisions in the Republican Party could cost the GOP in November.

Former President Donald Trump won the Keystone State in 2016 en route to winning the presidency, while his loss in 2020 in the state and the presidential election has caused rampant claims of widespread voter fraud from his supporters, which have yet to materialize. One GOP county chairman in the state told the Wall Street Journal it has caused a divide in the party.

Washington County Republican Party Chairman Sean Logue said people who want to relitigate voter fraud claims rather than focus on reaching out to voters are a “cancer in the party” and claimed “they don’t care about winning and losing.”

Logue warned the future of the party is in serious doubt as fault lines are breaking the wings apart.

“I don’t think the party can be unified,” Logue said.

Washington County, once a Democratic stronghold, has voted for a Republican in the presidential election since 2008, and it voted for Trump over President Joe Biden in 2020, 60.84% to 38.06%.

Logue said he still thinks the party can win despite the lack of unity between the two wings of the party.

“Winning begets more winning. So once we win one race and then two races and then three races, then the patriot wing doesn’t really have a leg to stand on,” Logue said. “All they do is complain.”

Trump became the first Republican since 1988 to win the state in the presidential election when he did so in 2016, but he failed to repeat the feat in 2020 by roughly 81,000 votes.

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Despite the GOP winning the state in the presidential and Senate races in 2016, it has failed to win many high-profile statewide races in Pennsylvania since then. Some of the most recent statewide races include the landslide victory for Democrat Josh Shapiro over Republican Doug Mastriano in the 2022 gubernatorial race, in which the Democrat won 56.5% to 41.7%.

Trump has led Biden in most swing-state polls but has performed the worst in polling in the Keystone State in the campaign. In the RealClearPolitics polling average, Biden leads Trump by 0.1 percentage points in Pennsylvania, but nationally, Trump leads Biden by 1.1 points.

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