Why AP called Pennsylvania Senate race for John Fetterman

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pennsylvania Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s performance with in-person and absentee votes in Philadelphia and in suburban Delaware County proved too much for Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz to overcome.

Because most of the votes still coming in were from places Fetterman was winning, that meant most of Oz’s votes had already been counted and he couldn’t make up the difference.

That enabled The Associated Press to call the race early Wednesday for Fetterman.

In Philadelphia, for instance, Fetterman led by a margin that mirrored President Joe Biden’s victory there in 2020. In Delaware County, just outside the city, Fetterman beat Oz in both Election Day votes as well as absentees. Fetterman’s margin with absentee voters dwarfed Oz’s performance there.

Fetterman was mayor for more than a decade of tiny, impoverished Braddock, near Pittsburgh. He used his time there to establish credentials with the Black community in the majority Black town. Known for wearing hoodies and shorts on the campaign trail, he has 15104, Braddock’s zip code, tattooed on one forearm. He also has tattoos of the date of every slaying in the community while he was mayor.

Oz shot to celebrity by appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s daytime TV show and then as the host of “The Dr. Oz Show.” In the final days of the race, Winfrey endorsed Fetterman.

Fetterman’s May stroke and his recovery figured in the final weeks of the race. The stroke’s effects were clear as he used closed captioning to help him process the words he heard, leading to some awkward pauses in their first and only debate. It’s unclear what effect the performance had on the race, if any.

Oz sought to cast himself as a moderate even as he said he’d back former President Donald Trump if he runs in 2024.

Trump backed Oz in a crowded GOP primary.


Mike Catalini can be reached at https://twitter.com/mikecatalini


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