The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Meyner Center hosts local expert to explain upcoming midterm

Photo by Jenny Davis for The Lafayette
Terry Madonna discussed the upcoming elections, with a particular focus on the races in Pennsylvania.

On Nov. 8, the country will vote for the next Congress and numerous local and state officials in the 2022 midterms. Senior Fellow in Residence for Political Affairs at Millersville University Terry Madonna visited Lafayette on Tuesday to brief students on the candidates running in Pennsylvania as well as the election’s potential outcome. According to Madonna, the Democrats will likely lose seats in Congress. 

“These midterms have historically been a referendum on the President of the United States,” Madonna said. “If a president’s job performance – meaning what kind of job the people in our country think the president is doing – falls below 50 percent: goodbye.”

President Joe Biden’s approval rating currently sits around 40 percent positive, according to The Hill

History supports Madonna’s statement. Of the past 19 midterm elections, the party of the sitting president has lost congressional seats in 17 of them. Largely due to the Great Recession, the most considerable loss of congressional seats occurred during the Obama presidency in 2010, when the Democrats lost 63 seats in the House of Representatives and six seats in the Senate. Twelve years later, the country finds itself in uncertain economic territory as a result of high inflation.   

“As you might expect, this is not going to be a great year for the Democrats. The race for the Senate has come down to four or five states,” Madonna said.

One of those states is Pennsylvania, where Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz both hope to take over the seat of retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey. A Muhlenberg College poll released on Nov. 1 found the candidates deadlocked; both have 47 percent support among likely Pennsylvania voters. 

“Dr. Oz beat a fellow Republican in the primary by 900 votes out of more than 800,000 votes cast for the two candidates,” Madonna said. “[Before the primary], he was not a resident of the state for which he wants to be a U.S. senator. There’s something else: he has dual citizenship with Turkey. He has not given that citizenship up.”

Madonna also spoke about the health issues surrounding Fetterman, who had a stroke in May. Oz regularly questions the mental and physical fitness of his opponent.

“The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story, and it said to both candidates: ‘produce your medical records.’ Oz had his physicians release his medical records … John Fetterman still has not done that,” Madonna said.

The U.S. Senate race is not the only election in Pennsylvania that has garnered national interest. The campaigns of Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano for the state governorship are also being watched closely. 

Before Shapiro was elected attorney general in 2016, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office began an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In 2018, Shapiro released the investigation’s extensive grand jury report, which alleged that over 300 priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children. 

“Josh Shapiro [had] no primary opponent for an election to the governorship. He was elected attorney general, and within a year he was known not just in the state, but all over the country,” Madonna said of the impact of the investigation. 

Mastriano, however, emerged from a crowded primary race and won with 43 percent of the vote and an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. Mastriano’s agenda includes eliminating “no-excuse” mail-in voting, state funding for Planned Parenthood and the property tax. He also denies the results of the 2020 election.

“Mastrino is an election denier. He believes that in Pennsylvania and other states there was widespread corruption, that there was cheating and fraud, and [that] a guy [like] Joe Biden should never have won the state,” Madonna said.

There has been no evidence of widespread election fraud in the 2020 election.

“The bottom line for Mastriano is that he has trailed Josh Shapiro in every poll. The latest Mulhenberg poll has got him down by double digits” Madonna said.

The midterm election will take place on Nov. 8. Pennsylvania election results are not expected to be released on election night due to a high quantity of mail-in ballots.

Correction 11/6/22: The previous title stated that Lafayette Votes! hosted Terry Madonna at Lafayette. The Meyner Center actually organized the event and hosted him; Lafayette Votes! cosponsored it. The title has been updated to reflect this. 

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Jenny Davis, Staff News Writer

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