Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate race appears to be headed for a recount

The Pennsylvania Republican primary for the US Senate is still too close as vote counts continue Wednesday afternoon. The TV star Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick are separated by less than 2,000 votes with more than 1.3 million ballots cast in the hard-fought campaign to replace retired Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Oz, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, has a small lead over McCormick as several counties have yet to finish counting mail-in ballots, as well as provisional, foreign and military mail-in ballots.

Pennsylvania state law prevents counties from beginning mail-in ballot counts until 7 a.m. on Election Day, which could delay the final count by several days. The Keystone state is one of only a handful of mail-voting states that does not allow pre-solicitation of absentee ballots.

Results can be delayed even further by another law that requires an automatic recount when the spread between Oz and McCormick is less than 0.5%. According to the New York Times, Oz got 31.3% of the vote with 413,784 votes, and McCormick got 31.1% of the vote with 411,833 votes. Kathy Barnette, a hot-headed Trump supporter who has seen a surprise surge in the polls in the final weeks of the campaign, landed a distant third with 24.7% of the vote.

While no winner is yet to be announced, Trump challenged Oz to claim victory on Truth Social, the social media platform he founded to compete with the “liberal media consortium” of Facebook, Twitter and other sites . He accused the McCormick campaign of using mail-in votes to cheat, but presented no evidence to support his claim.

“DR. Oz should be declaring victory. It makes it that much harder for them to cheat with the ballots they ‘found by accident,'” Trump said.

Thousands of votes have yet to be counted before the race is called. Neither Oz’s nor McCormick’s campaigns have given up, and each candidate has expressed confidence in their victory once the remaining ballots are tallied.

More than 37% of registered Republican voters turned out in the primary, the highest mid-term primary turnout in at least two decades Associated Press.

On the Democratic side, John Fetterman, Lt. gov. of Pennsylvania, hours after his election by an overwhelming majority in the Democratic Senate primary hospitalized to have a pacemaker implanted after suffering a stroke on Friday.

Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro faces Republican Senator Doug Mastriano in the state’s gubernatorial race. Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate race appears to be headed for a recount

Laura Coffey

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