The headline at the end-of-August Susquehanna Polling and Research poll was crystal clear:
Fetterman holds a narrow 5-point (49:44) lead over Oz in the latest poll.
Which sums up the state of the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race between the GOP nominee, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and the Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
That Oz is gaining is no secret. Once upon a time early on in the race he was down by 19. Now it’s a mere 5.
The question is: why? As someone who lives in Pennsylvania and sees this race unfolding daily (if not hourly!), I know the reason for this Oz surge — two reasons, actually.
The first is Fetterman’s record and beliefs.
To give but one example of the first, here is a new headline from Fox News:
Widow of slain Philadelphia officer takes aim at Fetterman for appointing ‘buddy’ of cop killer to state board
Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of murder for the 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner
The story reports:
The widow of a Philadelphia police officer who was shot and killed in the 1980s is taking aim at Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman over his appointment of an individual who has expressed affection for the individual convicted of killing her husband to serve on the state’s Board of Pardons.
In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Maureen Faulkner blasted Fetterman for advocating for the release of convicted criminals onto the streets and his appointment of Celeste Trusty to serve on the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, saying her husband, Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, was “shot in the head, point-blank by Mumia Abu-Jamal” in 1981.
This comes on the heels of another story reported here in The American Spectator a week ago with this headline:
Oz Opponent’s Commutation of Convicted Murderer Becomes an Issue
There, we learned this of Democrat Fetterman:
Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor and Democrat U.S. Senate nominee John Fetterman used his power as lieutenant governor to commute the sentence of a convicted murderer.
In other words? Fetterman’s far-Left parole-the-murderers views are catching up to him as more and more Pennsylvania voters become aware of just how he has used his lieutenant governor’s power as the leader of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons.
Here’s a sample from the decidedly liberal Philadelphia Inquirer:
John Fetterman ran the Board of Pardons like an activist — and at times a bully
That story reported this:
Those who work with Fetterman say he runs the Board of Pardons — one of his only official duties — with the heart of an activist and, at times, the force of a bully.
Catch the word “activist”? That would be shorthand for far-left activist, who, over and over again, has moved to commute or pardon one convicted murderer after another.
All of which comes on top of the revelation that he was a trust-fund brat, living off his parents until he was in his late 40s — and, the record shows, and as the Oz campaign has highlighted, failing 67 times to pay his taxes.
But well aside from his far-Left extremist views is the sleeper issue of his health. In late May Fetterman had a stroke — but failed to reveal this to his fellow Democrats in time for them to make another choice as nominee. Now Fetterman says this:
Pennsylvania Democrat Senate hopeful John Fetterman said he “almost died” from a stroke last month because he did not take care of his health well enough, and he revealed a previously undisclosed heart condition known as atrial fibrillation.
“I should have taken my health more seriously,” Fetterman said in a statement on Friday, while admitting that the stroke he suffered from last month “didn’t come out of nowhere” but was from a previously undisclosed heart condition.
Not only is this health problem now out there as a serious issue, but it has and is directly affecting Fetterman’s ability to campaign. Fetterman has refused to do multiple debates with Dr. Oz, agreeing to only one and that in late October — well after many Pennsylvania voters will have sent in mail-in ballots. Not to mention that his rare appearances on the trail show him making nothing but brief speeches in which he repeatedly appears halting and confused, the tell-tale signs of a stroke victim.
All of this has begun to impact the race, with the combination of Fetterman’s far-Left views about getting convicted murderers out of prison, eliminating the state’s job-rich fracking industry, and his decidedly visible ill health a serious contrast to the conservative- and Trump-endorsed Dr. Oz, who is conducting a traditional, energetic campaign by appearing everywhere in the state at one event after another, the picture of perfect health.
There is time to go, with the November election still over a month away.
But there is no question. Dr. Mehmet Oz is on the rise in this key Pennsylvania Senate race — and for multiple reasons.
One suspects that, as President Reagan used to say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”