As Wednesday morning dawned, just a few hundred votes separated the leading candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.
Celebrity surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz led former hedge fund manager David McCormick in unofficial returns, with a margin less than 1,500 votes – an edge of 31.38% to 31.26% – with more votes left to count in an unofficial decision that might not be clear for a couple more days.
Potential Recount Likely
Margins of 0.5 percentage points or less require a recount by state law.
As Election Day approached, Kathy Barnette had surged in polling but she took a significant step back receiving 24.55% of the vote. In a seven-candidate field, nobody else captured at least 5%.
The seat held by retiring Republican Pat Toomey will be contested in November against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who easily won his Democratic primary on Tuesday.
The late-campaign surge of military veteran Barnette complicated the Senate race. McCormick and Oz spent much of their time attacking each other, giving her a chance to build support. More than 300,000 voters chose Barnette.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands and former lieutenant governor candidate Jeff Bartos combined for more than 130,000 votes, more than enough to take away a clear victory by Oz or McCormick.