Polling Shows Dr. Oz Losing By Large Margin In PA Senate Race

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Somehow, Mehmet Oz — aka Dr. Oz — is now the Republican pick for Senate heading into this year’s elections in Pennsylvania, where Republican Senator Pat Toomey is retiring. But a new poll in which Oz is down nine percent shows this might be the closest he gets to being a Senator.

A new USA Today Network/Suffolk University poll found Democrat John Fetterman, who’s currently the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, with 46 percent of the support, while Oz had 37 percent. Oz has had the support of former President Donald Trump since the GOP primary for the seat for which he and Fetterman are vying.

“The Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a tremendous opportunity to Save America by electing the brilliant and well-known Dr. Mehmet Oz for the United States Senate,” Trump said in a primary season endorsement for Oz. “I have known Dr. Oz for many years, as have many others, even if only through his very successful television show. He has lived with us through the screen and has always been popular, respected, and smart… Women, in particular, are drawn to Dr. Oz for his advice and counsel. I have seen this many times over the years. They know him, believe in him, and trust him.” Although Trump phrased it bizarrely, the point Trump was trying to make seems to have been that women would supposedly like Oz when heading to the ballot box or otherwise casting their votes this November — not that Trump has some kind of cutting-edge insight here. A lot of it reads like a college freshman trying to bulk up a paper to hit a required word count.

Oz barely won the GOP primary — he finished fewer than 1,000 votes ahead of runner-up Dave McCormick. Fetterman, besides leading Oz when respondents were asked who they’d actually support this November, is also viewed more favorably: “In the Senate race, Fetterman has much broader appeal than his opponent,” as summarized in the Erie Times-News by a reporter with the USA Today Network’s Pennsylvania state capital bureau. “His favorable rating is at 45% compared to 27% who view him unfavorably. Half of all respondents view Oz unfavorably, while 28% have a favorable opinion of him.” (That’s from the same poll as the general election numbers.) That’s not a lot of voters with a favorable opinion of the man Republicans hope to help them hang onto a key U.S. Senate seat this November.

Flipping just one seat could make all the difference: if Republicans do it, that means Mitch McConnell could lead the chamber yet again. If Democrats do it, Joe Manchin will become less relevant and the president’s side will hold onto power. Dems presently control the Senate because of Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking role.

So far, there hasn’t been a lot of polling in the Pennsylvania Senate race, although Fetterman’s status as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor means he’s already built up a connection with Pennsylvania voters across the state. There are more primaries in key states like Wisconsin before the full slate of general election match-ups can be known.