Pennsylvania GOP crosses Trump divide from 2016 to 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The candidates widely seen as favorites to become the Pennsylvania GOP’s 2018 nominees for U.S. senator and governor are unabashed supporters of President Donald Trump.

That’s a big change from last year, when Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey ran for re-election as a critic of Trump.

Scott Wagner, who is running for governor, and Congressman Lou Barletta, who is running for U.S. Senate, say they see supporting Trump as a safe bet with voters rather than a risky campaign companion.

They are running for their party’s nominations in a coming midterm election that, if it follows historical patterns, will be unkind to the president’s party.

Trump supporters do not necessarily have an overwhelming sentiment to rely on next year: he barely eked out a victory over Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania.

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