Pa.’s U.S. Senate race is too close to call

The race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz could determine the balance of power in the upper chamber

By: - November 9, 2022 12:00 am
Democratic U.S. Senate nominee John Fetterman (L) and Republican U.S. Senate nominee Mehmet Oz (R) Campaign file photos

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee John Fetterman (L) and Republican U.S. Senate nominee Mehmet Oz (R) Campaign file photos

The U.S. Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz was too close to call Tuesday night as Pennsylvania counties continued counting ballots — a process that could last for days.

As of midnight, 48,938 votes, 1.13 percent, separated the candidates, according to unofficial, real-time results from the Department of State. However, those numbers are likely to change as the count continues statewide.

The unofficial and incomplete results showed Fetterman, who held a watch party in Allegheny County, with 2,130,981 votes against Oz’s 2,082,043.

More than 1.4 million Pennsylvania voters requested a mail-in or absentee ballot ahead of the general election, according to Department of State data. As of noon on Tuesday, the counties had reported roughly 1.15 million — 83 percent — of those ballots were voted and returned ahead of the 8 p.m. deadline.

Local election officials also have to count provisional, military, and overseas ballots, which are counted post-Election Day. 

Counties must report unofficial results to the Department of State by 5 p.m. on Nov. 15.

Speaking briefly in Bucks County at the Newtown Athletic Club, Oz said that when every ballot is counted, he thinks he’ll win the race.

“I have told you many, many times that I believe in you, traveled all over the commonwealth to make that message clear,” the celebrity doctor said, addressing more than 100 supporters during his watch party. “Tonight, you have told me that you believe in me.”

Attendees — campaign staff, volunteers, and donors — in attendance Tuesday night were relatively calm, occasionally cheering for races where Republicans were projected to win were mentioned on Fox News. Carla Sands, who lost the GOP U.S. Senate primary, and Bill McSwain, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in Pennsylvania, showed up to support Oz.

The widely watched and costly race to replace retiring GOP U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey could determine political control in the upper chamber next year.

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Marley Parish
Marley Parish

A Pennsylvania native, Marley Parish covers the Senate for the Capital-Star. She previously reported on government, education and community issues for the Centre Daily Times and has a background in writing, editing and design. A graduate of Allegheny College, Marley served as editor of the campus newspaper, where she also covered everything from student government to college sports.

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