Kathy Barnette's Senate campaign has all the trappings of the famous political underdog movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, gender differences aside.

First, like Jefferson Smith, Jimmy Stewart’s character from the 1939 movie, she was nearly anonymous when she started her race. Next, there was a surge in popularity as she climbed to the top of the polls after her message started resonating with voters. This was followed by a cloud of controversy, with many opponents rallying against her. Next, she has worked to overcome this adversity and win the sprint to the election's finish line. Barnette can complete the story in triumphant fashion, like Jefferson Smith, if she wins on Tuesday, an outcome that may well happen.

Polls show a very close race heading into Tuesday's primary, with a three-way battle involving Barnette, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, and Gulf War veteran David McCormick. Most polls show Oz with a very slight lead but within the margin of error.

On Saturday, I spoke with Kathy Barnette's campaign and sorted out many of the hit jobs and misconceptions that have plagued her campaign in the last week since she became a real contender. Many questions stemmed from vague information regarding her background. Others involved altered videos that twisted her words.

Careful editing made it seem like Barnette was a woke candidate who supported Black Lives Matter. As a resident who lived in the congressional district for which she ran in 2020, I knew that was not true, but I asked her campaign anyway.

Her campaign assured me that, despite many baseless and unsubstantiated claims to the contrary, Kathy Barnette has never been a supporter of Black Lives Matter. Moreover, she is a staunch supporter of our country's police officers and against the "defund the police" movement.

They also provided me with this website, which rebuts many of the attacks leveled against her in the last week. It showed documentation of her military career, her work as an adjunct professor, and a list of her previous employers. Perhaps most importantly, it emphasized that Barnette never supported BLM, as many of the attack ads have falsely claimed. It also stressed that she has never called to defund the police in any way.

As for the election itself, the Republican who wins on Tuesday will face many cultural issues in November's election, especially abortion. Barnette's campaign emphasized the overall importance of this issue and why she was the superior candidate that would lead Republicans to victory.

Two talking points Democrats repeatedly use in an attempt to defend abortion are that abortion bans are detrimental to black women and that abortion bans are unfair to rape victims. But Barnette's racial background and life story help neutralize such attacks, whereas her Republican colleagues would be left politically vulnerable.

"I am the byproduct of a rape," Barnette said in a previous interview. "My mother was 11 years old when I was conceived. My father was 21. I was not just a lump of cells. As you can see, I'm still not just a lump of cells. My life has value."

Furthermore, Barnette's campaign believes that by being a pro-life black woman, she will be able to rally support in many minority communities throughout Pennsylvania, especially in Democratic strongholds such as Philadelphia.

I also asked her campaign why Pennsylvanians should vote for her and why they feel she will be able to defeat the presumptive Democratic nominee, John Fetterman, Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor.

"Doing that outreach to the black community, Asian community, and Hispanic community, listening to their issues, and having the life story she has, there is no one else better to go against Fetterman," her campaign spokesperson told me. "You're putting someone who is like a Mitt Romney against Fetterman if you put anyone else in."

Furthermore, there's also the personality factor in this election, where Barnette appears to have an advantage over the other Republicans in the race. And, as many people know, charm can be an important characteristic in elections.

Her campaign acknowledged what many Republican voters have known since her congressional campaign in 2020 — Barnette has a certain charisma about her when standing up for her beliefs. Conversely, many other Republican candidates are considered boring, for lack of a better term. Being a resident in the Philadelphia area, this is something I have repeatedly heard when discussing the election with likely Republican voters.

"As Republicans, we may not love Fetterman, but he is a fairly charismatic guy," said the spokesperson. "We absolutely need a candidate who can stack up to him, and Kathy is best suited to hit this in the general election."