Lancaster, Pa. — When Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate contest is finally decided, it will come down to one thing Republicans love to hate when it’s convenient — mail-in voting.
But in this case, with mail-in ballots still being counted, either Mehmet Oz, a Donald Trump-backed TV doctor, or David McCormick, the former hedge fund executive, will prove decisive. Both candidates wait for the remainder of the non-Election Day votes to be tabulated, with Oz taking a slight lead. The race was too close to call by Wednesday morning.
“Based on how many absentee ballots there are and the margin by which Dave has won them so far, so we are confident of victory. Dave will win this race,” tweeted Jeff Rowe, a top strategist at McCormick.
At their election night parties on opposite ends of the state, both Oz and McCormick were convinced.
“When all the votes are counted, I am sure we will win. We’re making a brutal allegation, but when it’s so close, what else would you expect? Everything else about this campaign is tight-lipped.” oz said,
“We’re going to win this campaign… right now we have thousands of mail-in ballots that haven’t been counted,” McCormick told his supporters,
Pennsylvania Republicans had a very different reaction in 2020, When former President Donald Trump prevailed with the bulk of the in-person votesBut President Joe Biden won the mail-in vote, marking his close win in the state and after Trump failed to prove there was voter fraud.
A day after the 2020 election, Trump and his allies accused Democrats of trying to steal the election and sought to halt Pennsylvania’s continued tally of absentee ballots as they trumped their lead over Biden.
Pennsylvania allows absentee voting without excuse, which means any registered voter can vote by mail for any reason. But GOP lawmakers are working furiously to overturn the 2019 law they helped pass, challenging it in a lawsuit pending before the state’s Supreme Court.
With nearly 95% of the votes counted, Oz was leading McCormick by a fraction of a percentage point—by less than 2,000 votes. Oz was strong in Election Day voting, while McCormick trailed him in the mail-vote count. An automatic recalculation is triggered under state law if any winning margin is less than 0.5%.
Trump’s claims of big 2020 lies and baseless fraud are still gaining strength in the GOP, even if candidates don’t use it as an excuse for the 2022 results. Pennsylvania Republicans chose Doug Mastriano as their gubernatorial candidate on Tuesday. Maastriano, the state senator, has been a major force in efforts to reverse the 2020 election, and was in Washington on January 6, 2021. He has called for the state to abolish the absentee voting law without any pretext.
Oz has previously embraced Trump’s views on electoral fraud, Saying in an April debate that Republicans “can’t move on” From the 2020 election. But a day before this year’s election, Oz declined to say the 2020 vote was stolen,
“I want to be careful. Republicans are about to fix things,” Oz told a TV anchor on Monday, arguing that the state still needs to “diagnose” the roots of voter fraud concerns. the wanted.
in bloomberg feature, McCormick defended when pressed about election fraud. “I think within Pennsylvania, there were certainly a lot of skeptics,” he said.
No GOP Senate candidate blamed Tuesday’s close contest on voter fraud — even Kathy Barnett, a hard-right commentator Who refused to participate in the 2020 US House race She lost by almost 20 points due to allegations of baseless cheating.
“To snatch the election from me, he lied, and he did a lot,” Barnett told his supporters on Tuesday.
Even with assurances of his third-place finish, Barnett didn’t give up or congratulate his opponents.
“He didn’t call it that,” she said. “I’m not assuming, so don’t report it.”