Nice Time: John Fetterman Beating Stuffings Out Of Dr. Oz In PA Senate Race!
Here’s some good news for a change! A Suffolk University/USA TODAY network poll of likely midterm voters in Pennsylvania shows Lt. Gov. John Fetterman up a whopping nine points over snake oil hustler Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Inquirer links this thumping to the “millions spent in (the) GOP primary driving up (Oz’s) negatives.” Bunch suggests that “Fetterman’s lead reflects Dems wanting a fighter.”
\u201cSo Fetterman is up by 9 over Oz (pretty good) while Shapiro leads Mastriano by just 4 (too close!) in 1st major PA poll, Suffolk/USA\n\nA lot going on, including the millions spent in GOP primary driving up Oz negatives\n\nBut I think Fetterman's lead reflects Dems wanting a fighter\u201d— Will Bunch (@Will Bunch) 1655292007
I'm not quite sure voters want a pugilist so much as an otherwise normal Democrat who’ll unequivocally advance the party’s agenda. He’s running as a team player, which is what Democrats want most after so much Joe Manchin/Krysten Sinema-generated heartache. It doesn’t hurt that Fetterman seems like a normal guy and Dr. Oz is Dr. Oz. (He should’ve just run as "Mr. Oz" and pretended TV’s Dr. Oz was his weirdo quack cousin.)
Fetterman’s lead is impressive considering he’s not fully campaigning yet. He had a stroke last month and now has a pacemaker. He’s expected to make a complete recovery as long as he doesn’t take medical advice from Dr. Oz.
I was a little annoyed that Fetterman aired his first general election ad on Fox News. I’m not convinced persuadable voters watch the Tucker Carlson network. However, let’s take a look at what folks are seeing in the Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Johnstown media markets.
The ad hits the somewhat tiresome “outsider takes it to Washington DC” themes that admittedly connects with voters. Army veteran Braxton White, who’s also a local school board member, claims DC has "attacked towns” like Braddock (where Fetterman was mayor) with “bad deals that sent away our jobs” and "drugs that kill our kids.” (I assume the latter wasn’t intentional.)
The ad blares, “Washington doesn’t care,” but it’s actually Republicans who’ve screwed working people. Collective cynicism about Washington in general only benefits Republicans. Most Democrats without the last name "Sinema" go to Washington to help people, and what do you know, Fetterman is one of them!
White says that Fetterman has lived for "20 years in a place like [Braddock], building, pushing, fighting.” He supports a $15 minimum wage and more "American jobs” with higher wages. That would probably trigger any Fox News viewers’ socialist sense.
Hey, if this gets Fetterman a nine-point lead and keeps Dr. Oz out of the Senate, keep it coming.
I’m less enthused about the polling numbers for the governor’s race. Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro is only leading GOP insurrectionist and Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano by four points. I’ll take a narrow win over a fascist instead of a narrow loss any day of the week and twice on Sunday, but the October 2020 Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll had Joe Biden up seven points. His actual margin of victory was 1.2 points. If this poll is equally generous to Democrats, then we could end up with a comfortable Fetterman win but a painfully close Shapiro loss.
Mastriano would steamroll over abortion rights once Roe is overturned. He’s repeatedly said he wouldn’t have certified Biden’s election win in the state, so we can safely assume he’d baselessly cry “fraud!” and reject any Democratic victory in 2024 — and the Pennsylvania governor appoints the secretary of state. This is a key race and Shapiro absolutely must win. We need to get him up to Fetterman’s numbers, even if it means he has to air ads on Fox News and sit on more benches with Black people. These are desperate times.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."