Vote counting far from over as Trump-backed Dr. Oz and Dave McCormick deadlocked in PA GOP Senate primary
PHILADELPHIA — Vote counting resumed Wednesday morning in Pennsylvania’s high stakes and extremely combustible and expensive GOP Senate primary, with Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick virtually deadlocked.
Some counties in the crucial general election battleground have yet to tabulate mail-in ballots, and the counting of absentee, provisional, and overseas and military ballots could take days.
The Pennsylvania Department of State told Fox News that as of 11am on Wednesday, approximately 105,000 mail-in ballots still needed to be counted.
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Oz held a razor-thin advantage over McCormick the day after the primary, as the vote count continued. But the margin is currently well within the 0.5% that triggers an automatic recount mandated by the state’s top election official. By law, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State must order a recount by 5 p.m. May 26 if the margin stays with .5%.
Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz speaks to supporters at primary night event in Newtown, Pennsylvania, on May 17, 2022
(Fox News )
Both candidates acknowledged that a winner wouldn’t be determined on Tuesday night.
“We’re not going to have a result tonight,” Oz, the cardiac surgeon, author and well-known celebrity physician, told supporters at his primary night event in Bucks County, in Philadelphia’s northern suburbs.
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Oz, who until the launch of his Senate campaign late last year was host of TV’s popular “Dr. Oz Show,” predicted that “after the votes are tallied, I am confident that we will win. We are making a ferocious charge.”
Republican candidate for a Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat, Dave McCormick, right, and his wife Dinah Powell, talk to supporters during his returns watch party in the Pennsylvania primary election, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
McCormick told supporters at his gathering in Pittsburgh that “we’re not going to have resolution tonight, but we can see the path ahead. We can see victory.”
McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, West Point graduate, Gulf War combat veteran and Treasury Department official in former President George W. Bush’s administration, vowed that “we’re going to win this campaign.”
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Oz on Wednesday got some advice from his biggest supporter, former President Donald Trump.
“Dr. Oz should declare victory. It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happen to find,’” Trump said on social media.
Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, left, accompanied by former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Greensburg, Pa., Friday, May 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Trump endorsed Oz last month and thanks to his full-court press during the closing days of the campaign on behalf of Oz, he was a key factor in the race. His vocal support for Oz was likely instrumental in easing fears of many on the Right who were concerned about Oz’s conservative credentials.
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Trump — who for a year and a half has continuously re-litigated his 2020 presidential election loss and repeatedly makes unproven claims that the election was “rigged” with “massive voter fraud” — on Wednesday alleged that “in Pennsylvania they are unable to count the Mail-in Ballots It is a BIG MESS.”
Either McCormick or Oz will face off against Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who easily won the Democratic nomination, in the fight to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey in a crucial battleground state. The race is one of a handful across the country that will likely decide if Republicans win back the Senate majority in November’smidterm elections.
Fox News’ Kellianne Jones and Courtney de George contributed to this report