Oprah Winfrey expressed support this week for John Fetterman — the Democratic candidate in this year’s Pennsylvania Senate race, where he is running against Mehmet Oz, aka Dr. Oz. Oz was a frequent guest on Winfrey’s longtime daytime television show, and she also appeared on an earlier show that Oz hosted.
In the time since, Oz has attracted the support of interests like former President Donald Trump — not exactly a sign of the moderate approach to politics to which the former television personality keeps claiming to adhere. On abortion, which remains among the most highly prioritized issues during this year’s elections, Oz has expressed support for making decisions about access to reproductive healthcare at the state level. For starters, there’s nothing stopping him from changing his stance and supporting an abortion ban at the federal level if he actually wins. Within Pennsylvania, there’s no guarantee that the state legislators potentially deciding on abortion access would even necessarily fairly represent the state. Gerrymandering — meaning the political manipulation of the process of drawing legislative districts — could ensure that Republicans nab a higher portion of the legislature than the state’s overall partisan lean suggests would be most representative.
Winfrey spoke about the Pennsylvania Senate race during a Zoom event hosted by her Oprah Winfrey Network. “If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman, for many reasons,” she said. Fetterman will also soon receive a campaign boost from President Joe Biden, who will be appearing in Pennsylvania on Saturday alongside the candidate and former President Barack Obama, the latter of whom has already made other campaign stops around the United States. In the final rush to Election Day, Obama has spoken in states including Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Arizona. In his remarks, he has pointed his listeners to the need for real-world solutions and criticized those pushing polarization. He has also specifically addressed issues including the lack of real-world evidence for systematic election fraud. In Wisconsin, Ron Johnson — the GOP Senator running for re-election — still won’t commit to accepting this year’s results.
Johnson is running in a close race against Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes, who is currently the state’s lieutenant governor. Asked about the prospect of accepting the results, Johnson said: “I sure hope I can, but I can’t predict what the Democrats might have planned… It sure seems like there’s an awful lot of — in the past, a lot of attempt on the part of the Democrats to make it easier to cheat.” There’s no meaningful evidence of this. Meanwhile, the Fetterman campaign touted Winfrey’s support in a race in which polling has tightened. Polling on how voters reacted to a recent debate between Fetterman and Oz has been mixed. A Fox survey found most of the half of overall respondents who claimed an impact from the debate on their vote were supporting Oz, although a different survey found that only a minuscule portion of those who saw some of the debate indicated they were reconsidering their pick in the race.