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It’s Not Over Yet – Senate Hopefuls Brace for Recount in PA

Pennsylvania Senate Hopefuls David McCormick and Dr. Mehmet Oz prepare for a recount. Dr. Oz maintains a lead but the race, which has been on ice since Tuesday, will most likely be decided by only a handful of votes. Reminiscent of the 2020 Presidential Election counties have been given a generous amount of time to tally their votes, and results are expected by Tuesday.

The Hill’s Morning Report — Recount looms in Pennsylvania

Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver; May, 19th 2022

As Tom Petty once wrote, the waiting is the hardest part. 

That’s the situation in Pennsylvania, where the race between Mehmet Oz and David McCormick for the Senate GOP nomination remains too close to call as counties across the state continue to count ballots of all stripes. 

As of this morning, Oz leads McCormick by 1,240 votes, a 0.1 percent margin, clinging to a lead he has held since he overtook the former hedge fund CEO in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday.

“We have covered all counties to ensure that the ballots are correctly collected,” Oz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday, having thanked him in his election night remarks. “This election is ours. We have done well.”

County officials are on the clock to certify their results by Tuesday, meaning that all provisional, overseas and military absentee ballots must be tabulated by then (The Associated Press).

A recount is almost certain, meaning delay in declaring a winner. Former President Trump, who endorsed Oz, did not wait, and he invented a ballot conspiracy. 

“Dr. Oz should declare victory. It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to find,’”  Trump posted on Truth Social on Wednesday, echoing his false and preemptive declaration of victory on election night in 2020 (The Hill).

While the political world awaits a winner in the contest, Trump has already emerged victorious this week. Oz’s performance, coupled with big wins by Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) last night and J.D. Vance in Ohio two weeks ago, has cemented the former president’s standing with GOP voters. As The Hill’s Alexander Bolton writes, it also means the Senate Republican Conference next year will be more loyal to him and that lawmakers will seek his favor as the most painless route to a primary win. 

■ The Associated Press explainer: How mailed ballots slow results in Pennsylvania.

■ Politico: Inside the last-minute Trump endorsement that enraged Pa. Republicans.

■ The Philadelphia Inquirer: Five takeaways from the Pennsylvania primary election.

■ Reid Wilson, The Hill: Republican election deniers make gains in primary contests.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made clear on Wednesday that he is more than fine with either Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate in a general election matchup against Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.  When asked about the race, McConnell pretended to wipe sweat from his brow, indicating his pleasure that Kathy Barnette’s late charge in the polls fell short. 

“My view is that either way this turns out, we are fully competitive in Pennsylvania, and ready to win in November,” McConnell said (CNN).

National Republicans fretted in recent weeks about the possibility of her emerging to a general election due to a number of incendiary tweets and remarks she’s made over the past decade. 

Political attention now turns to next week’s primary contests, featuring a Georgia GOP gubernatorial primary and Trump’s feud with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who is seeking reelection and leading in polls.

A new Fox News survey released on Wednesday showed that Kemp leads with 60 percent support to only 28 percent for former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), the Trump-backed candidate in the race. If that result holds on Tuesday, Kemp would clear the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.

Photo: AP/Keith Srakocic

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