Bernie Sanders-Backed John Fetterman Prevails in Pennsylvania
Well, somebody had to win.
Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, a Democrat, held on despite a late surge from television doctor Mehmet Oz, Republican, in the hotly contested Pennsylvania Senate race. Fetterman, a firebrand progressive who had been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), overcame concerns about his health after suffering a stroke in May, and a shaky debate performance, to prevail after an intensely negative campaign.
As of 1 a.m. on Wednesday, when NBC News and Fox News called the race, Fetterman had about 49.4 percent of the vote and Oz had 48.2 percent. The gap between the two candidates was slightly more than 60,000 votes—while Libertarian candidate Erik Gerhardt collected just over 66,000 votes.
The race wasn’t focused heavily on policy issues, but Fetterman’s win does shift the makeup of the next Senate in key ways. Keep in mind, this is the seat currently occupied by Sen. Pat Toomey (R–Pa.), a consistent conservative who never fell under the thrall of Trumpism. Not only will it become a Democratic seat, but Fetterman is unlikely to be a centrist in the mold of his neighbor to the southwest, Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.).
Fetterman’s narrow win was an apt microcosm of the biggest races in the midterms, in which a supposed “red wave” failed to materialize. Oz’s chances may have been dragged down by the poor performance of Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano (a strong supporter of former President Don
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