Trump-endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz has built a small but increasing lead over former Bush official and hedge fund manager David McCormick in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary. The race is too close to call as of early Wednesday morning.
McCormick led for much of the night before a late surge in Bucks County put Dr. Oz in the lead just before midnight on Tuesday. As of 2 am Wednesday, Oz led McCormick by 2,762 votes with 96% reporting, according to the Associated Press.
If Oz is able to secure a lead in Delaware County, where he currently trails McCormick by a couple hundred votes, his victory will become increasingly likely.
Outstanding mail-in ballots are expected to favor McCormick, however, who has performed well in Pennsylvania’s bluer counties. A recount is also very much in play, which will be triggered if the winning candidate’s margin is lower than 0.5%.
Beyond Oz and McCormick, the lead story down the stretch of Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary was a late surge from Kathy Barnette. After polling around 9% until late April, Barnette found herself in a statistical tie with the two front-runners according to numerous respectable pollsters.
While Barnette fell short of Oz and McCormick, who have each garnered a little over 30% of the vote, the U.S. Army veteran and author has received a little over 23% of the vote.
Barnette’s candidacy sharply divided the traditional Trump base, many of whom have taken issue with numerous leftist positions advanced by Dr. Oz in the past. The successful TV doctor has expressed support for transgenderism, abortion and has endorsed the notion of “systemic racism” in the past.
He has since abandoned these views and has not advocated for them on the campaign trail, though Barnette’s showing illustrates how skeptical the base truly was.
David McCormick is far from a true “America First” candidate himself, however. His hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, had a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” policy under his tenure. His employees were also entitled to a fully paid sex-change operation for those who wanted one.
McCormick has also all but confirmed that he would have impeached President Trump over the January 6 Capitol protests, which he has called a “dark day” in American history. The former Bush official condemned Trump’s “divisiveness” during impeachment proceedings while praising Joe Biden’s tone.
Oz received plenty of flak from conservative voters over the course of the campaign while McCormick’s record received a bit less scrutiny.
Nevertheless, a Dr. Oz triumph over David McCormick would make former President Trump two-for-two in major Pennsylvania endorsements. State Senator Doug Mastriano, who has made election integrity the centerpiece of his campaign, cruised to victory over multiple formidable opponents in Pennsylvania’s GOP gubernatorial race.
National File will provide updates on Pennsylvania’s Senate race as they become available.