Mr. Lamb is an unabashed moderate, and his politics and personal style are decidedly more buttoned-down than Mr. Fetterman’s — more high school principal than pro wrestler. He has expressed frustration with his party’s left flank for “advocating policies that are unworkable and extremely unpopular,” such as defunding the police. He speaks kindly of Mr. Manchin, with whom he did a fund-raiser this year. He contends that Mr. Fetterman leans too far left, and he characterizes himself as “a normal Democrat” who can appeal to working-class voters and suburban moderates alike.
There are other, lesser-known Democrats in the mix, too. A state lawmaker, Malcolm Kenyatta, hails from North Philly. Young, Black, progressive and gay, with a working-poor background, he has pitched himself as the candidate to energize the party’s base voters, especially those who tend to sit out nonpresidential elections.
Commissioner Val Arkoosh of Montgomery County is based in Philadelphia’s upscale, voter-rich suburbs. She leans liberal on policy and has been endorsed by Emily’s List. An obstetric anesthesiologist, she hopes to position herself as a sensible alternative to Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity physician who jumped into the Republican primary contest about two weeks ago. She is also betting that the growing threat to abortion rights will help her rally suburban women, whom she sees as a natural base.
Wherever this race ultimately leads, there will be lessons for other Democrats looking to compete in tough battleground areas.
The Georgia primary for governor could prove even more clarifying about the state of the G.O.P. — though not in a good way. The Republican incumbent, Brian Kemp, is running for re-election. But he is high on Mr. Trump’s drop-dead list for refusing to help overturn the results of last November’s election.
Desperate to see Mr. Kemp unseated, Mr. Trump lobbied former Senator David Perdue, who also lost his re-election bid last cycle, to challenge the governor. Last week, Mr. Perdue entered the race. Mr. Trump promptly endorsed him, slagging Mr. Kemp as “a very weak governor” who “can’t win because the MAGA base — which is enormous — will never vote for him.”
This contest is not about Mr. Kemp’s politics or governing chops. Both he and Mr. Perdue are staunch conservatives and fierce partisans. And Mr. Perdue is not some hard-charging outsider looking to overthrow the establishment or push the party to the right or redefine conservatism in some fresh way. In his announcement video, Mr. Perdue blamed Mr. Kemp for dividing Republicans and costing them Georgia’s two Senate seats. “This isn’t personal. It’s simple,” said Mr. Perdue. “He has failed all of us and cannot win in November.”