Topline

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) won Pennsylvania’s high-stakes Senate race Tuesday, defeating Republican nominee Mehmet Oz, according to the Associated Press, a significant victory as Democrats flip the seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and vie to maintain control of the Senate.

Key Facts

With 91% of the votes counted at around 2 a.m., Fetterman led Oz 49.9% to 47.7%, a lead of 113,036 votes.

Fetterman gave a speech thanking the people of Pennsylvania after several TV networks called the race for him, and tweeted: “I won’t let you down.”

Oz has yet to publicly concede the race.

Crucial Quote

“This race is for the future of every community across Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said after the race was called by multiple media outlets.

Key Background

The two candidates in one of the most closely watched toss-up races in the country could not have been further apart when it came to style and personality. Oz is a Republican TV celebrity and doctor who is worth over $100 million and didn’t even live in their state until December 2021. Fetterman, who sported a hooded sweatshirt and goatee on the campaign trail, was born and raised in West Reading, Pennsylvania, served as mayor of the struggling steel town of Braddock for 13 years before becoming lieutenant governor. He suffered a stroke days before the May primary that took him off the campaign trail for months and left him with auditory processing issues that affected his ability to communicate in interviews and during the candidates’ sole debate. Oz seized on his opponent’s health issues to cast him as unfit for office, while Fetterman described his struggles as a way to empathize with everyday Pennsylvanians. In the final days before the election, prominent players from both parties campaigned alongside the candidates in hopes of securing wins in a contest that will help determine which party controls the Senate. As former President Donald Trump rallied with Oz, on Saturday, President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama campaigned with Fetterman.

Big Number

0.5. That’s the number of points Oz led the polls by heading into Election Day, according to FiveThirtyEight, representing more than a 10-point shift from Fetterman’s lead in mid-September.

Further Reading

Oz, Fetterman Nearly Tied In Post-Debate Poll As Senate Control Swings In GOP’s Favor (Forbes)

Fetterman Attacks Oz Over Abortion Remarks In Post-Debate Ad (Forbes)

Oprah Endorses Fetterman Despite Oz History—Why Her Support Might Sway Voters, And Why It Might Not (Forbes)

Sara Dorn, Forbes Staff

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