After an extraordinary race marred by heated social media feuds, Democratic Lt. gov. John Fetterman met his Republican opponent, the famous TV doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz, five months after suffering a massive stroke in the Pennsylvania Senate contest.
Speaking to a packed room full of cheering supporters at his campaign party in Pittsburgh, Fetterman rubbed his eyes and said he didn’t really know what to say.
“Every district, every vote,” he said, repeating his campaign slogan. “We trapped them. We held the line. I never expected that we would turn those red counties blue.”
The competition received more publicity and publicity than any Senate race in the nation. The Associated Press has called the race, although official results will be longer. Fetterman held a solid lead by 1:30 p.m. Eastern Eastern with 49.9% of the vote, compared to 47.7% for Oz
The national political stakes were high. After Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey’s decision to retire, Democrats were keen to grab a seat in the key swing state, which voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. Meanwhile, Republicans wanted to keep the seat as part of their office plan to take control of the Senate.
As personalities, Oz and Fetterman upped the ante and embraced an aggressive back-and-forth of viral snark and aggressive social media trolling. A Trump supporter and longtime television personality who until recently lived in New Jersey, Oz presented himself as a moderate Republican trying to control inflation and curb crime. Fetterman, the outspoken former mayor of Braddock, ran as an anti-establishment figure in line with working-class voters on economic issues.
In April, Fetterman slammed Oz for his performance in a 35-second video that showed him pulling broccoli, asparagus, carrots and guacamole from a supermarket shelf and blamed Biden for the “raw food” cost.
“In PA we call this a veggie tray,” Fetterman snarled in his own video, appealing to supporters to donate to his campaign and help get Oz packing.
Fetterman suffered a major setback in May when he suffered a stroke just days before entering state elementary school.
The Democratic candidate was forced to cancel campaign events. Still, in mid-August, Fetterman held a comfortable 12 percentage point lead over Oz on the FiveThirtyEight polling average. But by Election Day, that advantage had eroded, and polls showed the race was a tie, with Fetterman leading by just 0.1 points .
Oz ran a spate of crime-themed campaign ads to undermine Fetterman’s leadership. When the two candidates met for their only debate in late October, Fetterman delivered an uneven performance, tripping over his words and struggling to articulate points on abortion rights and fracking.
In the final phase of the campaign, Fetterman willingly spoke about his health struggles and ongoing recovery. At a rally in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Fetterman admitted his recent speech challenges and joked about taking the stage in front of former President Obama.
“Here’s a pro tip,” he told the crowd. “Please, if you’re going to give a speech after recovering from a stroke, you really don’t want to have to come in front of Barack Obama.”
Obama was just one of many national political heavyweights, including President Biden and Trump, who landed in Pennsylvania over the weekend.
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Obama castigated Oz for his dubious medical claims as a teledoctor — “If anyone’s willing to sell snake oil to make money, they’re probably willing to sell snake oil to get elected” — and also lashed out at Republicans in the Back on the economy, he said the GOP was happy to talk about inflation but had no solutions.
“What is her answer?” he said. “What is your economic policy?”
Stumbling into Oz in the small town of Latrobe, about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh, Trump stuck to general talking points.
“If you support America’s decline and demise, you must vote for the radical left Democrats,” Trump told the crowd. “If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, you must vote Republican this Tuesday.”
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-11-08/fetterman-oz-results-in-pennsylvania-senate-race-marked-by-trolling Fetterman defeats Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania Senate election