The Pennsylvania Senate Race: Key to Democratic Control?
On Tuesday, May 17th, 2022, the Keystone State of Pennsylvania holds its Primary Election, fraught with import for ultimate control of the US Senate. GOP incumbent Pat Toomey is retiring, and with his seat up for grabs, there’s a good chance for a Democratic pick-up, which could reinforce their Senate majority. Far ahead of the pack for the Democrats is current PA Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, polling at over 50%, with current US Representative Conor Lamb trailing with just 14%, and two other “also ran” asterisk candidates. Most of the drama in the race has been on the Republican side, with three main contenders attempting to out-Trump the others in appealing to the all-important MAGA crowd. Trump himself has endorsed celebrity candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, the controversial heart surgeon-turned TV doctor, in a move “Rolling Stone” magazine aptly hailed as “Fraud Endorses Quack.”
The frontrunner had been David McCormick, a businessman who worked in the George W. Bush administration, and whose wife Dina Powell is a Goldman Sachs exec who served as Trump’s own Deputy National Security Advisor, so The Donald’s lack of endorsement for McCormick smarted quite a bit. Oz himself was Trump’s second choice, but his initial pick, Sean Parnell, withdrew from the race after accusations of domestic violence leveled at him by his ex-wife. Trump sure can pick ‘em!
After Trump transferred his imprimatur to Oz, the good doctor quickly rose in the polls to challenge the frontrunner, but both he and McCormick have some residency issues in the state. McCormick just moved there this year from Connecticut, solely to be eligible to fill Toomey’s seat, and Oz uses his in-laws’ Montgomery County home as his state address, but mostly resides at his mansion in northern New Jersey.
Into this carpetbagger vacuum stepped Kathy Barnette, an actual Pennsylvania resident. An African American female Republican (which is like finding a unicorn), Barnette is a noted conservative commentator and author, who cleverly cleaved herself to Trump while also opining that the former President came to endorse the ideals of the MAGA movement, which she has long promoted, but did not himself create it. After a televised debate, Barnette surged in the polls, and the three candidates are now in a statistical dead heat, with each controlling roughly 20% of the vote, with another 20% split among minor contenders and the final fifth undecided.
For this story we’ll be looking at asteroids Senator and Washingtonia for the job description and locale; Nike and Victoria, named respectively for the Greek and Roman goddesses of victory, for winning; Harris for Harrisburg, the state capital, to intuit a connection to Pennsylvania (for which there is no asteroid match); and various PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for the candidates. David McCormick is represented by asteroids Davida (a feminine equivalent) and McCormick, Kathy Barnette by Kathy and Barrett (closest to Barnette), and Mehmet Oz, whose name is Turkish, will have to make do with Mameta and Oze, the closest celestial matches.
Electoral victory can often be seen in PNA contacts to the Sun, which highlights an individual, or to “winning” asteroids Nike and Victoria. On May 17th, we’ll be combining two of these factors with a Sun/Victoria conjunction at 26 and 23 Taurus. All three lead GOP contenders have solar connections, with Mehmet Oz as asteroid Mameta the least powerful, in square to Sun/Victoria from 19 Leo, and asteroid Oze at 25 Cancer in sextile. David McCormick shows next, with asteroid McCormick opposed Sun/Victoria from 18 Scorpio, and asteroid Davida exactly inconjunct from 26 Sagittarius. Kathy Barnette’s late surge is easy to see in her PNA placements, with asteroid Kathy exactly opposed the Sun from 26 Scorpio, while asteroid Barrett at 10 Aries is in semisquare. Kathy is also exactly conjunct asteroid Karma, suggesting a fated or predestined quality to her candidacy, while Barrett conjoins Venus at 17 Aries, perhaps an indication of her popularity, or support from female voters.
The only candidate with a connection to Nike at 2 Aquarius is Oz, with Oze widely opposed it and Pluto, at 28 Capricorn, in a T-Square with Washingtonia at 22 Libra. This could give him an edge on the field, but Pluto is tricky to manage, tending toward either an increase in personal power, or a devastating outcome (just ask Hillary Clinton, with asteroid Hillary opposed Pluto on Election Day 2016). The only other candidate with a DC connection is David McCormick with Davida at 26 Sag in sextile to Washingtonia.
Oz, with the most tenuous connection to the state he hopes to represent, also has the worst connections with asteroid Harris on Election Day. At 12 Capricorn Harris makes no meaningful contact to Mameta or Oze, but it is broadly sextile McCormick at 18 Scorpio, more closely semisquared Kathy at 26 Scorpio, and also squared by Barnette at 10 Aries, putting the actual longtime Keystone State resident in the most formidable placement vis-à-vis celestial geography. Oz does have a connection to the job on offer, with Mameta sextile asteroid Senator at 14 Gemini; Barrett is also sextile Senator from 10 Aries for Barnette, while McCormick is inconjunct from 18 Scorpio. None of these are what I would call really convincing connections, but somebody has to win this nomination, so let’s take a look at their birth data.
Asteroids representing a future career path often show prominently in the natal chart. We have no times of birth available for any candidate, so we can’t know if the Moon or an Angle might connect strongly, but based on what we can analyze, Kathy Barnette has the best natal placement of asteroid Senator.
Born 6 September 1971, Barnette’s Senator at 16 Gemini squares her 13 Virgo Sun and 15 Virgo Venus, and broadly conjoins career-minded Saturn at 6 Gemini. This gives her a career link (via Saturn) and makes the job of Senator bound up in her self-identity (Sun). There’s also an intriguing Grand Cross composed of trines from Saturn/Senator to Harris with Uranus at 5 and 12 Libra, and Mars with Kathy at 11 and 12 Aquarius. This suggests an unexpected (Uranus) career move (Saturn) with Barnette’s (Kathy) campaign (Mars) successful in making her the next Senator (Senator) from Pennsylvania (Harris). Or at least, one of the nominees.
Born 17 August 1965, David McCormick’s natal Senator at 4 Cancer conjoins Victoria at 5 Cancer (possibly prefiguring a Senate win), and these are sextile a cluster of Nike exact with Harris at 4 Virgo, and McCormick at 6 Virgo (once again linking McCormick with the principle of victory and the state he wants to represent), and squared Washingtonia at 10 Libra. The problem here is that these factors are unintegrated with the rest of the chart (so far as we can tell), and may merely reflect the potential for attaining the position he now finds himself in, of possible nominee, and not necessarily constituting a cosmic endorsement.
Born 11 June 1960, Dr. Oz has Senator at 25 Leo, precisely splitting the difference between Uranus at 17 Leo and Pluto at 3 Virgo, eight degrees from each, and thus widely conjoined both. A wide sextile to the Sun at 20 Gemini is unlikely to prove determinative, though Senator is also closely sextile Washingtonia at 26 Libra, which is itself at station (turning direct almost two weeks later), possibly indicating an outsized importance for DC in Oz’s biography. Perhaps his best shot at victory is the Lunar Eclipse two days before the primary election, which at 25 Scorpio, with the Sun at 25 Taurus, precisely T-Squares this natal Senator placement, perhaps boosting his candidacy at the penultimate moment.
Given the current trajectory of the race, and the predominant asteroid placements on primary day and in the natal chart, the best bet for the GOP senate nomination would seem to be longshot Kathy Barnette.
On the Democratic side, there seems little doubt of frontrunner John Fetterman’s victory, and while there is no suitable asteroid for his surname, asteroid Johnny at 11 Cancer in exact semisquare to the primary day Sun would seem to confirm this political diagnosis. Conor Lamb, however, shows in a very intriguing cluster of asteroid Lamb at 2 Gemini with Mercury, ruling the vote itself, at 3 Gemini, asteroid Connors at 11 Gemini, and Senator at 14. That should strongly tap him into the vote and the job, but it seems improbable that Lamb could make up a nearly 40-point deficit in polling to take this race. Perhaps the campaign for him is mostly about increasing name recognition (also a Mercury function) statewide, in preparation for a future run for higher office.
The office of Governor is also on the ballot in Pennsylvania, being vacated by term-limited Tom Wolf, a Democrat. On the Dem side, current Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running unopposed, while the leading GOP contender for the gubernatorial nomination is current State Senator Doug Mastriano. Both show prominently on the day, with asteroid Joshuavo (a CNA, or Compound-Name Asteroid, with both first and last names run together as one word, which can be separated and used as a celestial marker for either) at 27 Taurus and asteroid Douglas at 20 Taurus both conjoined the Sun/Victoria pairing, granting them increased visibility on the day. In addition, asteroid Shapiro at 8 Leo opposes Nike at 2 Aquarius, hopefully affording a preview of the ultimate victor in November.
Check this space again after May 17th, when we’ll announce the winners.
5 June 2022
Well, it’s taken awhile for the full results to emerge, but here’s the skinny: on the Democratic side in the Senate race, John Fetterman did win, despite an eleventh-hour medical crisis in the form of a stroke three days before the election, which continues to plague his campaign going forward.
The holdup in the final tally was on the Republican side, where David McCormick and Mehmet Oz came so close that an automatic recount was required. With less than a thousand votes separating them, Oz initially refused Donald Trump’s admonition to claim victory, but yielded to temptation weeks later, before the recount had begun. McCormick ended up conceding two days before the results became official for Oz. Apparently that Lunar Eclipse two days prior, exactly T-Squaring Oz’s natal asteroid Senator, worked the trick for him.
In the Governor’s race, Democrat Josh Shapiro ran unopposed, so, no surprise, he won. For the GOP, state senator Doug Mastriano emerged victorious, maintaining his polling lead and easily attaining the nomination. An extremist who would ban abortion in the Keystone State, with no exceptions, Mastriano should lose handily to Shapiro, all things being equal. But a Dem Senate pickup by Fetterman against Oz is less certain, with his ongoing health issues intruding into the race. We’ll know come November…