Oz Performed Better in Pennsylvania Debate With Fetterman: Pollster

Oz Performed Better in Pennsylvania Debate With Fetterman: Pollster
(Left) Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz hosts a safer streets community discussion at Galdos Catering and Entertainment in Philadelphia on Oct. 13, 2022. (Mark Makela/Getty Images); (Right) Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman speaks to supporters gathered in Dickinson Square Park in Philadelphia on Oct. 23, 2022. (Kriston Jae Bethel/AFP via Getty Images)
Steve Lance
Naveen Athrappully

Robert Cahaly, a senior pollster at the Trafalgar Group, believes Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate Candidate Mehmet Oz performed better than his competitor Democrat John Fetterman during the duo’s recent debate.

The Oct. 25 event was the first and only one between the two Pennsylvania candidates. Following a stroke before the May primary, Fetterman has faced issues in his speech, a problem that continued during the debate. In an interview with NTD’s Capitol Report, Cahaly pointed out that Fetterman had to “just show that he could process information” and produce intelligent answers during the debate. However, the Democrat failed to do so, he noted.

During the debate, Fetterman used a closed captioning system that provided questions in written form to help him process the meaning of questions put forward by the moderators.

“Oz had to win people over as far as his personality. And he could have been really kind of a jerk. But he was very restrained,” Cahaly said about the Republican candidate.

“And he didn’t seem to be mean, it didn’t come across mean-spirited. And in a situation like that, that would have been easy to do. And I think that was the bridge he had to climb, and he climbed it well.”

As to which party would win the House or the Senate, Cahaly stated that if the election were to take place on Nov. 1, the GOP would win the house with 25 or 30 seats and the Senate with up to 52 seats.

Abortion Issue

Abortion was one of the key issues of the debate. During his campaign, Oz made it clear that though he is pro-life, with exceptions to be granted in case the mother’s life is in danger, or in situations involving incest and rape.
When asked during the debate as to whether abortion must be banned in general, Oz insisted that “there should not be involvement from the federal government on how states decide their abortion decision.”

Oz went on to attack Fetterman, saying that the Democrat wants federally mandated rules allowing abortion at even 38 weeks into pregnancy. Fetterman clarified that his campaign will fight for Roe v. Wade and would push for codifying it into law “if given the opportunity.”

Even though abortion is being projected as a major election issue by Democrats, it isn’t actually true according to Cahaly. Though women care about abortion, it is not as important as other issues like safety from crime and fentanyl proliferation, he pointed out.

“And the interesting thing is the small amount of people who were voting on abortion only, you know, it was their first choice. But nobody had abortion as their second choice,” he said.

Trafalgar Group conducted its survey using a large sample of over 1,000 respondents per state, issuing short questionnaires to regular voters, and giving people multiple ways to respond, including by text, phone, email, or online.

Steve Lance is the host of Capitol Report, a political news show based in Washington aimed at providing a direct channel to the voices and people who shape policy in America. Capitol Report features all of the political news of the day with expert interviews and analysis.
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