HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Control of the U.S. Senate could hinge on whether Pennsylvanians elect Democrat John Fetterman or Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz on Tuesday, launching a high-profile and extraordinary campaign for the open seat.
Fetterman, the flamboyant and outspoken governor of Pennsylvania, spent much of the campaign. recovering from a stroke in May, during the elimination Oz attacks which questioned whether he was honest about its effects and fit for duty.
For the next two weeks in the competition, Fetterman turned into a heavy-hitting debate show, struggling to complete sentences, saying words for an hour on television and increases the anxiety within his party which hurt his chances.
To emphasize the importance of the competition, President Joe Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania for Fetterman three times in the past three weeks, while former President Donald Trump dropped in to hold a rally for Oz, his endorsed candidate.
Oprah Winfrey has endorsed Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. (Source: CNN/The Dr. Oz Show/Harpo Productions/The Oprah Winfrey Show/Harpo Productions)
62-year-old Oz took his luggage to the presidential battleground. The affable, wealthy television personality turned heart surgeon moved from his longtime home in neighboring New Jersey, a mansion overlooking the Hudson River across from Manhattan, and won a primary in which his opponents defeated him. kicked out. Hollywood liberal.
Polls showed a close race with the economy weighing heavily on voters.
About 8 in 10 Pennsylvania voters say things are going in the wrong direction in the country, according to a wide-ranging AP VoteCast poll of more than 3,100 voters in the state.
Nearly half of the state’s voters say the economy and jobs are the nation’s most important issues, according to the poll. And among that group of voters, Oz had the upper hand over Fetterman.
About 8 out of 10 voters rate the country’s economy as neither good nor bad.
Supreme Court the decision to overrule Roe v. Wade also played a role in the acceptance of the majority of voters, with nearly 8 in 10 citing it as a factor. Only about a quarter called it the most important factor, with more of those voters voting for Fetterman.
About half said they were confident Fetterman was healthy enough to serve effectively, and half said they had reservations, according to the poll.
More voters say they’re not sure Ozro knows Pennsylvania well enough to be an effective senator than those who say they are confident, according to the poll.
With the slogan “every county, every vote,” the tattooed, beret-wearing 53-year-old Fetterman sought to bring the Democratic Party back to the countryside. At the same time, he promised that the Democrats’ “51st vote” would be for the passage of fundamental legislation to protect the rights to abortion, same-sex marriage, unions and voting, as well as to raise the minimum wage.
Fetterman described the vote for Oz as a vote to ban abortion — mocking Oz’s comment that he wanted “women, doctors, and local political leaders” to decide the fate of abortion — and Oz as a lifeless TV salesman peddling useless medical supplements. , described. he has money and says or does something to get elected.
He also ran a vicious social media campaign that brought in a flood of small dollar donations cruel trolleys Oz, for his carpet bags and ultra-rich lifestyle, broke new ground on what campaigns could use.
The Pennsylvania seat is open as second-term Republican Sen. Pat Toomey decided to seek a third term. Polls closed at 8 p.m., although a judge in Luzerne County ordered all polling places open until 10 p.m. after some ran out of supplies.
Oz will be the first Muslim to serve in the US Senate.
Oz, a political novice, left his high-paying daytime TV career for politics in a new state, helped by national political headwinds against Democrats, such as rising inflation. Still, he struggled to convince conservatives that he was one of them, while campaigning to win over suburban voters and black and Latino voters who lean toward Democrats.
He relentlessly attacked Fetterman on natural gas drilling and progressive positions on criminal justice reform. As lieutenant governor, Fetterman was committed to freeing the most incarcerated, rehabilitated or innocent people. But Oz and Republicans often see it as freeing dangerous criminals to roam the streets, distorting Fetterman’s positions in the process.
Oz also challenged Fetterman on whether he had been truthful about the effects of the stroke and pressured Fetterman to release his medical records. Fetterman declined and also refused to allow his doctors to answer questions from reporters, but insisted that his doctors say he will make a full recovery.
The party that wins control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections can choose the Speaker of the House. (CNN, HOUSE TV, CA DMV, POOL)
The stroke left Fetterman occasionally stumbling over words and unable to process spoken speech in a fast-paced manner, a common effect of stroke called auditory processing disorder. As a result, he demanded closed writing during media interviews and male-only debates.
He tried to turn his recovery into a strength, accusing Oz of trying to take advantage of his disability, saying it made him empathize with people with medical problems.
The election for the seat of the US Senate was the most expensive election of this midterm period, exceeding 300 million dollars. Money poured in from the national teams, and Oz poured more than $25 million into the race.
This story has been corrected to show that all polls in Luzerne County have been ordered to stay open until 10 p.m., instead of the few that are allowed to stay open.
Follow Mark Levy on Twitter: twitter.com/timelywriter.
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