It’s tough to overstate the importance of the Pennsylvania Senate race. With Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican, retiring, the state is considered the Democrats’ best hope for picking up a seat and retaining their whip-thin majority.
High-profile races in two crucial swing states promise to be especially enlightening, offering a handy guide to the existential issues roiling the parties. The contrast could hardly be starker.
In Pennsylvania, the Democratic fight for a Senate seat features an array of contenders slugging it out over a slew of knotty questions involving policy and ideology, progressivism, populism, centrism and how — or even if — to woo blue-collar whites in deep-purple places.
In Georgia, the Republican battle for governor has been reduced to the singular, defining question looming over the whole party: Does the G.O.P. still have room for leaders who aren’t Trump-addled invertebrates?
The outcomes of these contests will shake the parties well beyond the states in play.
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