John Fetterman was projected to defeat Republican celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz in the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, in what cycle’s most expensive and most closely watched midterm contest.
NBC News and Fox News projected that Fetterman would win the race. His victory flips a Senate seat to Democrats, boosting their chances of maintaining control of the chamber.
Almost $375 million was spent on the Senate race this cycle, dwarfing other contests, as the rivalry has been billed as one that could determine who controls the chamber.
Oz capitalized on his notoriety from his daily talk show and an endorsement from Donald Trump to win the Republican primary. But Fetterman, often wearing a hoodie, has tried to portray Oz as out-of-touch with the state’s voters, particularly since he long lived in neighboring New Jersey.
Oz, meanwhile, has attacked Fetterman on issues like crime and immigration, while a campaign spokesperson last August made a dig at the fact that he suffered a stroke just before the Democratic primary earlier this year. Fetterman is recovering from the stroke and, during the only debate with Oz last month, at times struggled to form sentences, something that he warned viewers about at the outset.
Last week, Oprah Winfrey announced that she was supporting Fetterman, even though she helped launch Oz’s TV career. “If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman,” Winfrey said in a statement. “There are clear choices and some dynamic candidates who are working to represent the values that so many of us hold dear—like inclusion, compassion, and community. So I ask that voters use discernment and choose wisely for the democracy of our country.”
Oz, though, has continued to campaign with Trump, including at a rally last weekend, taking place around the same time that Fetterman appeared on stage with President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama.
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