This year’s Pennsylvania Senate race could be a blowout.
John Fetterman, the Democratic pick and current lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, is out-raising Trump-endorsed GOP challenger Mehmet Oz, aka Dr. Oz, by large margins. Just from Monday to Thursday of this week — a time period following a widely mocked video of Oz going viral, the Fetterman campaign raised over $1 million. The clip that began circulating around the time that fundraising surge began shows Oz in a grocery store called Redner’s, which he misidentifies in the footage as “Wegners,” though no grocery chain by that name exists. In the store, he meanders around complaining about prices for the items needed for crudités, a French term that in the regular parlance of the sort of folks Oz is trying to represent just means vegetable trays. He also visibly misread prices while trying to complain about inflation. The extent to which Oz seemed out-of-touch was simply remarkable — and the video didn’t even crack 60 seconds!
Half the Fetterman’s $1 million fundraising haul following the crudités video came in within a day. As reported on this site, Fetterman’s communications director Joe Calvello told CNBC that the fundraising surge from Monday to Tuesday of this week after the video began circulating was significantly ahead of the campaign’s normal fundraising rate. The boost was “well above” average fundraising levels for the Democrat, Calvello said. Oz, meanwhile, is facing a series of criticisms related to his perceptibly out-of-touch nature, including jabs over his longtime residence in New Jersey, which he only recently switched to Pennsylvania. On a similar note, despite a documented claim from Oz he owned two houses, available information indicates he actually holds at least 10 properties. Who gets such a thing that wrong?
Per The Daily Beast, Oz’s properties include a New Jersey mansion, a New Jersey condo, a 7,000-square-foot country house in Pennsylvania, three pieces of real estate in Turkey, two condos in Manhattan, a Palm Beach mansion, and — for some reason — a cattle farm in a rural area of Florida. “He owns them, legally and legitimately, and they make up a sizable portion of his assets, which total at least $100 million,” the publication added of Oz’s numerous properties. Another recent report from The Daily Beast outlines how evidence indicates the New Jersey condo was and may still be used as a residence by associates of Oz connected to advocacy against recognition of the Armenian genocide perpetrated by Turkish leadership in the early 1900s.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether these individuals paid Oz any rent for staying there, which would prove particularly relevant for legal purposes since Oz didn’t report the property on financial disclosure forms associated with his campaign. Necmiye Kacaroglu identified the condo as her personal address in New York charity filings amid co-founding a group by the name of Ataturk’s Heritage, which is named after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a political leader (admired by the Nazis) from the early days of modern Turkey. Her husband, meanwhile, identified the condo as his address in New Jersey voter records as far back as 2014. Polling amid all these developments consistently shows Fetterman with a lead in the double-digits, and the Cook Political Report recently changed its forecast for the race to “lean D.”