Donald Trump continues to pound the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary as mail-in ballots favor David McCormick, who is the rival of former president-backed candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is.
The high-profile primary has tested Trump’s influence within the Republican Party, with his endorsement of Oz, known for his self-titled television show, drawing the ire of many conservatives. The results remain close and the race is likely to be recounted.
Oz still appeared to have a slim lead, leading former hedge fund manager McCormick by just over 1,000 votes Sunday morning. However, McCormick won more mail-in ballots, leaving the results of the primary swing state unknown for nearly a week after counting began.
Overall, McCormick won 45,388 absentee ballots, compared to Oz’s 32,680, according to the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of State. The state does not count these ballots until Election Day, so there may be a delay in reporting the final results.
Oz has built a lead in voters who cast their ballots on Election Day, winning a total of 418,508 votes, while McCormick won 417,430.
A federal appeals court on Friday complicated the process of counting ballots, but ruled hundreds of ballots from last November’s election that were returned with no data on their envelopes needed to be counted.
The decision prompted McCormick’s campaign to urge prosecutors to also count undated ballots that The Philadelphia Inquirer said were “received in a timely manner” by Tuesday’s election. If those votes are counted, they could potentially benefit McCormick as he has won more mail-in ballots so far.
Meanwhile, Trump fumed at the counting process and questioned why it had taken so long, while comparing it to a “third world nation” in a post on his social media platform Truth Social on Saturday night.
“So what’s up with Pennsylvania?” he wrote. “Five days now and overseen by the incompetent Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro. The entire Nation of France was finished off on the eve of the ONE-DAY presidential election. PAPER VOICES USED, no discrepancies. ARE WE A THIRD WORLD NATION??? Are we going to Venezuela (YES!).”
On Sunday he attacked The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board, who criticized him for encouraging Oz to declare victory earlier in the week. The former president accused the newspaper of believing “what’s happening with voting in Pennsylvania is a wonderful and transparent event.”
“We are being laughed at and taken advantage of all over the world and now, especially after 2020, that includes our elections! Is Pennsylvania still waiting??? Keep protecting China WSJ!!!” Trump wrote.
Some local Republican officials have expressed frustration at his comments.
“I’m stunned. When someone who advocates that everyone has to get their votes out and the opponents cheat and now talks about his own party?” Dave Ball, chairman of the Washington County Republicans, said The Washington Post earlier this week. “When the President says let’s cut it here because I like this number so let’s stop, I don’t get the point of such statements.”
Whoever emerges victorious will face Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman in what is arguably one of the most closely watched elections of the Midterms.
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-fumes-mail-ballots-favor-oz-rival-mccormick-tight-primary-1708919 Trump fumes as absentee ballot favors Oz rival McCormick in tight primary