PITTSBURGH — Despite dramatic, last-minute twists in Pennsylvania’s Senate primaries, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman appears poised to win the Democratic nomination for Senate as Republicans remain locked in a three-way race.

While polls indicate that businessman Dave McCormick, conservative commentator Kathy Barnette, and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, remain in a tight race for the Republican primary, the Democratic primary appears much clearer, with Fetterman likely winning his party’s nomination. A RealClearPolitics average of polls found Fetterman leading Rep. Conor Lamb by 31 percentage points.


Fetterman on Sunday disclosed in a statement that he had a stroke “that was caused by a clot from my heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long,” thanking his wife, Gisele, for spotting his symptoms, as well as the doctors who treated him. Fetterman said he is “on my way to a full recovery” and is looking forward to returning to the campaign trail soon.

It is not immediately clear what, if any, impact news of Fetterman’s stroke will have on voters, as he leads the Democratic field by such a wide margin. Fetterman’s campaign said his wife and other special guests will host his election night party in the Pittsburgh area.

On the Republican side, Barnette’s last-minute surge comes after the race appeared to narrow to Oz and McCormick. But Trump’s endorsement of Oz was met with criticism by some Republicans in the state who argued Oz isn’t sufficiently conservative and lacks a demonstrable record and could thus hurt Republicans’ chances of maintaining control of the seat held by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey. Pennsylvania is a crucial state in Republicans’ plans to win a Senate majority.

Self-identified Pennsylvania voters who spoke with the Washington Examiner in the Pittsburgh area over the weekend brought up a range of concerns as motivating their votes, including inflation, crime, and job creation in the region.


Many, however, said they were either undecided among candidates or unsure about whom to vote for at all, with some citing negative ads as the source of their concern. One said the ads are “designed to poison your mind,” adding that she liked McCormick better after meeting him rather than seeing him on television.

A reversal of Roe v. Wade was also on voters’ minds, with one woman saying she and her friends felt motivated to go door-knocking for Democratic candidates after a leaked draft from the Supreme Court suggested it may reverse its decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Another woman, however, said that although she was reluctant to vote for Republicans because she feels Trump mishandled race, she did not like the Democrats’ “push for abortion,” arguing free or low-cost contraceptives are readily available in the area.