There were all kinds of primary races this week, but the most competitive and closely watched contest was the Republicans’ U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania. It also happens to be the same primary that remains unresolved — and it’s likely to be a while before we know for certain who won.
As of Tuesday night, the vote tallies showed hedge fund executive David McCormick with a slight advantage over celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, though by Wednesday morning, it was Oz with a small lead. There were some updates yesterday, and the television personality appears to now be up by about 0.1 percent.
Those hoping for a quick resolution are going to be disappointed. Indeed, as mail-in, provisional, and military ballots are counted, and Pennsylvania prepares for an increasingly inevitable statewide recount, the process might very well “drag into early June.”
That is, of course, how things will unfold if all the relevant players play by the rules and stick to the plan. As Politico noted, Donald Trump is advising his preferred candidate to choose a different route.
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Mehmet Oz should declare victory over opponent Dave McCormick in the too-close-to-call Pennsylvania GOP battle for Senate nomination — reprising his conspiratorial playbook from the 2020 presidential election that led to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
“Dr. Oz should declare victory,” the former president wrote on his social media platform. “It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to find.’”
Trump did not elaborate as to who’s included in “them.” We’re apparently supposed to believe, however, that there are nefarious forces out there engaged in ... something nefarious.
He went on to insist that Oz “won” — Trump didn’t say how or why he knows this — adding that he thinks, for reasons unknown, that Pennsylvania election officials are “unable” to count mail-in ballots.
Making matters considerably worse, the former president published another missive this morning, which read in part, “Stop FINDING VOTES in PENNSYLVANIA. RIGGED?”
Just so we’re all clear, there’s literally nothing to suggest any problems with Pennsylvania’s primary, the results to date, or the process of tallying the votes that haven’t yet been counted. Two candidates are nearly tied, and there are still tens of thousands of legitimate ballots to be counted.
It’s against this backdrop that the former American president, a year and a half after trying to overturn the results of his own defeat, is taking deliberate steps to discredit and undermine public confidence in the process.
What’s more, we’re faced with the possibility of McCormick eventually coming out on top, at which point Trump appears likely to do what he’s done before in response to election results he doesn’t like: He’ll attack the integrity of the system without proof and suggest the winning candidate didn’t really win.