OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The Pennsylvania Senate campaign of Dr. Mehmet Oz got some good news less than three weeks ahead of the midterm elections. Just days before they hold their first and only debate, Oz has closed the gap with Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, according to a new survey.
Fetterman and Oz garnered 46.3 percent and 45.5 percent support respectively, per a survey conducted by Insider Advantage for FOX29, Philadelphia’s Fox affiliate, with around 5 percent still undecided. That is well within the poll’s margin of error.
The Daily Caller added:
However, the poll showed favorable metrics for Oz, with him having a 21.7% advantage among independent voters and an 8% advantage among voters between the ages of 40 and 64, the age demographic with among the highest propensities to vote, according to the U.S. News and World Report.
“Oz is also picking an unusually high 14 percent of the African American vote and Asians and Hispanics prefer Oz and say they are voting for Oz by a wide margin,” noted Matt Towery, InsiderAdvantage’s Chairman, in a statement to FOX29. Political observers tend to agree that Fetterman has been “struggling with non-white voters” compared to Oz, whose medical career and business success have been attractive to minority voters, Newsweek reported.
“Fetterman continues to enjoy a ten-point lead among female voters, while men prefer Oz at that same rate,” Towery noted further, adding the survey shows both candidates with 42.5 percent support among young voters between the ages of 18 and 39.
Last month, Oz managed to secure the endorsement of the Philadelphia Police Department union, which is a rarity for a GOP candidate, due to Fetterman’s ‘soft-on-crime’ stances which include wanting to release hardened felons, including murderers, from prisons.
According to the New York Post, Fetterman — who is also chairman of Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons — “commissioned two reports last year released by Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) that recommended the BOP consider merit-based clemency for currently incarcerated second-degree murderers, as well as for the state legislature to reform the law that mandates life sentences without parole for second-degree murder convictions.”
At the time of the commissioning, Fetterman said he did it in a call for “mercy for the deserving and rehabilitated.”
During March 1, 2021, PLSE press conference, the Democratic official said that the reports documented “the lives that are destroyed” and “the resources that are wasted” due to the statute. He also said he hoped that the findings would “lead to a conversation” that could lead to some 1,200 current inmates being freed.
“I hope that it could lead to a conversation that would free close to 1,200 people of a legacy that never made sense, that encompasses victims’ input, encompasses their conduct and behavior in prison, it takes a look at the resources that are wasted that…,” said Fetterman.
“I always want to err on the side of mercy,” Fetterman said during the press conference. “Juvenile lifers released by a Supreme Court decision, the recidivism rate was less than 1 percent. That’s a remarkable statistic. That demonstrates that these individuals, once they are released, are not Hannibal Lecters, they’re out living their best lives. … You age out of crime. Now imagine people who have never taken a life, to begin with, imagine what that recidivism rate would be.”
Oz’s campaign has focused on Fetterman’s statements in which he appeared to argue in favor of releasing murderers. “Dr. Oz has surged in the polls because John Fetterman is the most pro-murderer candidate in America,” said Barney Keller, a spokesman for Oz, told The New York Times.
The attacks appear to be effective: Just the News reported that the Philadelphia police union, which traditionally supports Democratic candidates, has come out in support of Oz instead, calling his campaign the “last thin line” between safety and chaos.
“We need, and this is very key, we need to have Dr. Oz in this position to support our law enforcement,” said Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby, NBC Philadelphia noted. “That’s the last thin line that the community has to be able to keep themselves safe.”