US Midterms: Fetterman, Oz Face Off In Pennsylvania Senate Debate

On Tuesday night, Pennsylvania's two leading Senate candidates — Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz — held their first and only debate, two weeks ahead of the midterm elections.

US Midterms: Fetterman, Oz Face Off In Pennsylvania Senate Debate
Image credit: The Hill/NewsNation [via CNN]

Facts

  • On Tuesday night, Pennsylvania's two leading Senate candidates — Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz — held their first and only debate, two weeks ahead of the midterm elections.
  • The two clashed on several issues — including abortion, crime, inflation, and minimum wage — and exchanged personal attacks as they accused each other of running a campaign based on lies.
  • Fetterman expressed his support for Roe v. Wade and codifying abortion rights into federal law, claimed that Oz has no experience in fighting crime, criticized corporations for unfair pricing, and backed a $15 minimum wage. He also said that he has "always supported" fracking.
  • Meanwhile, Oz argued that abortion should be regulated by state laws, attacked Fetterman's progressive positions on crime, and stated that "market forces have already driven up the minimum wage." He voiced a pro-fracking position as well.
  • This debate also marked the first time voters could watch Fetterman unscripted on live television since his stroke in May. According to polls, he leads over Oz by no more than a 2-point margin in the race to replace the retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.
  • Pennsylvania has long been a crucial swing state and is considered a guide to the national mood. This Senate race is likely to be critical in determining whether Democrats or Republicans control the upper chamber.

Sources: Inquirer, ABC, USA Today, Axios, Politico, and FT.

Narratives

  • Republican narrative, as provided by Red State. Fetterman's responses, which were confused at best — and at times outright incoherent — were in stark contrast to Oz's pointed and well thought out remarks, making it clear why they had only one debate before the elections. This debate has shown Fetterman to be unfit for public office and has secured the Senate race for Oz.
  • Democratic narrative, as provided by MSNBC. It's evident that Fetterman still has some trouble in speaking due to his stroke, but he's a far better candidate than Oz. Their closing statements in Tuesday's debate proved this as he delivered a mission statement vowing to look out for those in need, while Oz could only repeat a list of Trumpist positions.

Predictions