Who is, and isn’t, MAGA is no longer Trump’s to decide

No place better illustrates this dynamic than Pennsylvania, where Trump’s endorsement Saturday of Republican Doug Mastriano in the governor’s race underscores how the former president is now following his supporters rather than leading them.

Mastriano makes Trump look like weak tea. Last week, Mastriano compared Democrats to Nazis for supporting abortion rights. He called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) an “amateur” and said he was tempted to relocate to South Dakota during the pandemic because Republican Gov. Kristi L. Noem refused to implement any covid safeguards.

Mastriano’s “security” volunteers, which included a man in a tricorn hat, blocked reporters from entering his event, even though the campaign was streaming the speeches live on Facebook. Inside, Mastriano spoke at length about his poll numbers, his debate performances and his crowd sizes. He boasted that 300 people showed up to see him on Monday in Pittsburgh even though the Iron City’s hockey and baseball teams were playing that night. He said none of his opponents could pull that off. “Even if they skip a bath for a month, they cannot draw flies,” he said.

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