Doug Mastriano, starved of cash and enthusiasm in his push to become Pennsylvania governor, is resorting to a new campaign tactic — 40 days of fasting and prayer.
Mr. Mastriano, the GOP nominee, reminded supporters on Facebook late Wednesday of the Thursday kickoff.
“Our 40 Days of Fasting and Prayer starts tomorrow morning. Please consider joining us,” he wrote.
The state senator made the appeal as he struggles to catch Attorney General Josh Shapiro, his Democratic foe, before Election Day.
Mr. Mastriano is down by double digits in many polls, with the Real Clear Polling average giving Mr. Shapiro a 9.3-point lead.
The Republican recently held a rally at the Capitol building in Harrisburg, though only a few dozen supporters showed up, and his lack of fundraising means Pennsylvanians are mostly seeing pro-Shapiro and anti-Mastriano messages on television.
Republicans control the state legislature, so retaking the governor’s chair after eight years of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf would allow them to set a new course for the state.
Mr. Mastriano is struggling after weeks of attacks over positions that have been dubbed as “Christian nationalism” or far to the right of the mainstream, particularly his 2019 remarks that women should be charged with murder if they violated his proposed abortion ban.
Groups that are running ads against Mr. Shapiro told the Philadelphia Inquirer that during the GOP primary, they worried about Mr. Mastriano’s ability to deliver in a general election.
“I haven’t seen anything to suggest we were inaccurate in our assessment,” Matt Brouillette, the head of Commonwealth Partners, a pro-business group, told the newspaper.
The Mastriano campaign has responded by retweeting comments from conservatives who say the GOP establishment got weak in the knees and abandoned him. It also posted a Phillips Academy Poll that said the race is closer than thought, with Mr. Mastriano down by roughly 3 points.
He also said Mr. Shapiro has failed to rein in rampant crime in Philadelphia and other parts of the state.
For now, he’s urging supporters to join him in fasting and prayer in the stretch to Nov. 8.
Some commenters wanted more details, such as the extent of the fast, while others said they were already praying for the campaign.
“I do pray the Lord will have you deliver the Commonwealth into his hands and be covered in Jesus’ blood like Virginia last year,” one commenter posted.
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