Well, that debate was something, wasn’t it?
Up until this week, most pollsters would have favored former mayor of John Braddock to handily take the US Senate seat for Pennsylvania. After Tuesday’s abysmal debate performance, any betting man in the country may want to rethink their stance.
To say that up until now that the Oz campaign has been fighting an uphill battle would be an understatement. Oz only narrowly won the Republican nomination by a 0.1% difference between himself and fellow front runner David McCormick, mostly due to his endorsement from President Donald Trump. Oz has been blasted by his opponents from the get go due to his former residence in New Jersey and status as a celebrity doctor, but that has done little to stop his slow rise to the top of the Pennsylvania Senate ticket.
As of Tuesday evening, virtually every poll in the country, Republican and Democratic alike, view the Pennsylvania race as a toss up. This has been due, in large part, to a mix of Oz’s relentless campaigning across the Keystone State and Fetterman’s unfortunate medical issues.
After Tuesday’s debate, the Fetterman campaign can no longer ignore their candidate’s clear medical issues. Mehmet Oz, throughout the entire debate, endeavored to answer the questions poised to him by the less than friendly moderation team concisely and with aplomb, Fetterman struggled from the get go to string even a single coherent sentence together. The moderators were forced to repeatedly give him extra time to compose himself before he could begin answering the next question, even when the questions poised to him were relative softballs. He clearly seemed to have trouble hearing the moderator at times or simply couldn’t formulate his own thoughts into words, which didn’t help his case at all. Even more troubling, his answers were frequently incomplete.
Oz, to his credit, did not attack Fetterman on his clear inability to answer a single question in a satisfying way. Rather, he stayed laser focused on the issues that affect every day Pennsylvanians and the country at large. He closed his debate remarks with a simple inquiry to the viewer: is your life better now than it was before?
It’s unclear at this time how effective this will be in terms of taking Mehmet Oz from a dead heat with John Fetterman to the front runner of one of the most highly scrutinized races in the nation. However, if the social media trends in the wake of the debate are anything to go by, Oz may well have to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory to lose this one. Legacy media outlets will struggle to spin the abysmal performance of Fetterman as a positive to the average Pennsylvanian voter. They can only hope that no one was watching, and that no one will watch what will likely be any of the millions of clips and memes certain to come out as a result of a debate that can only be described as a political trainwreck.