September 23: Center Stage

Oz and Fetterman

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Top Story

1. Oz, Fetterman Showdown Has Taken Center Stage. What Are Pennsylvanians Saying?

Fox News Digital headed to Indiana County to see what Pennsylvania voters thought about the heated U.S. Senate battle between John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz.

Indiana County, which voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in 2020, appeared to be split on supporting the first-time GOP candidate or the lieutenant governor from the western part of the state. (Fox News)


In PA, Oz Needs to Energize Voters Who Spurned Him in the Primary. “In Pennsylvania’s rural, conservative stretches, areas that overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2020, Oz is somewhat of an afterthought. Many conservative voters in some of these rural counties told CNN they plan to vote for the celebrity doctor. But few were energized by Oz’s campaign and the overwhelming reason they plan to back him is their opposition to the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.” (CNN)

Democrats Are Focus-Grouping Fetterman’s Health. Swing Voters Think He’s Getting Sharper. “In focus groups in Pennsylvania this week, swing voters were shown video of Senate Democratic nominee John Fetterman speaking at successive events since his May stroke. The consensus, according to two people familiar with the responses given to Democratic operatives, was that persuadable voters believe Fetterman is fit to serve and getting sharper.” (NBC News)

In PA Senate Race, $1 Homes Are All The Rage. “The Oz campaign says he’s residing there while the nearby home he bought for $3.1 million in December of last year is renovated. And, during a recent back-and-forth with his opponent, Lt. Gov, John Fetterman, over which candidate is more out of touch with the average voter, Oz took a jab at the Democrat for having purchased a home from a family member for $1. Allegheny County records show Fetterman did buy a Braddock property for $1, and that the value of that property is now $238,200.” (NBC News)

The Oz-Fetterman Meme Campaign, Illustrated. “A banner towed by an airplane over the Jersey Shore. A troll website with a doctored image of a shirtless candidate. The rivals for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat are turning to uncommon tactics to paint their opponent as unqualified or unfit.” (Washington Post)



2. Toomey to Co-Sponsor Presidential Electoral Reform Act

“Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey will co-sponsor the Presidential Electoral Reform Act in the Senate.

The House passed the bill by a 229-204 vote with nine Republicans breaking with their ranks to support the measure. The reform bill seeks to prevent presidents from trying to overturn election results through Congress, the first vote on such an effort since the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump forces seeking to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win.” (PoliticsPA)


Toomey Is Backing a Bill to Change How Electoral College Votes Are Counted – and Avoid the Chaos of 2020. “The Pennsylvania senator would be the 11th Republican sponsor or co-sponsor of the Electoral Count Reform Act, giving it more than enough GOP support to clear a filibuster and pass the Senate.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)



3. Redrawn PA Districts Inject Uncertainty in Legislative Contests

“Democrats in Pennsylvania who have long blamed their party’s legislative minorities on Republican gerrymandering will find out in November whether friendlier district maps will edge them closer to retaking control of the House and Senate.

The new district boundaries, along with dozens of retirements and primary election defeats, will certainly bring change to the Capitol — but even the most ardent Democrats aren’t predicting they will swing enough seats to dictate when bills are voted on or if they even get a vote. Republicans currently hold 29-21 Senate and 113-90 House majorities. Democrats have not held a majority in either chamber since 2010.” (AP)


Democratic Allied Group Pours $60 Million Into State Legislative Races. “A Democratic-aligned group is investing nearly $60 million in state legislative races in five states, a significant sum in an often overlooked political arena where Democrats have struggled for decades.” (New York Times)

Let’s Do It Again: Defeated in Primary, Republican Turns Democrat in HD107. “The primary election in the 107th PA House District apparently was just the appetizer.” (PoliticsPA)


Around the Commonwealth

Muhlenberg Poll: Fetterman and Oz In Close Race For Senate; Shapiro Holds Big Lead Over Mastriano. “With just over six weeks until the general election, Democratic candidates hold leads in both the Pennsylvania gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races, according to a new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll.” (Morning Call)

  • How The Polls Might Be Wrong (Again) This Year. (Vox)


McCarthy Unveils House GOP’s Big Ideas, But Challenges Ahead. “Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is heading to Pennsylvania on Friday to directly confront President Joe Biden and the party in power, unveiling a midterm election agenda with sweeping Trump-like promises despite the House GOP’s sometimes spotty record of delivering and governing in Congress.” (AP)

  • McCarthy Keeps Right Flank Tight as He Closes In on Speakership (The Hill)
  • Republican Leader McCarthy To Unveil Party Platform in Pittsburgh (KDKA)


What Does Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Do Now? “Depending on whom you ask, Larry Krasner is either embattled or thriving.” (The Atlantic)

  • A Progressive Group Is Pulling Its Endorsements of Lawmakers Who Voted to Hold Krasner in Contempt. (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Celebrities For Shapiro: AG, Led by Out-of-State Donors, Crushing His Rival in Cash Race. “Add money to the list of clear distinctions between Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican Doug Mastriano in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race.” (Beaver County Times)

  • Bartos Appears at Shapiro Fund-Raiser (POLITICO)


Jenna Ellis Demanded That a GOP Governors Group Give Doug Mastriano Money. It Didn’t Go Well. “The Republican Governors Association has been cool to the GOP nominee in Pennsylvania. Ellis tried to heat things up on Twitter — then changed her mind.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)



  • Mehmet Oz’s Cruel Campaign Against Redemption (Jeffrey Gerritt)
  • Quite Extraordinary. Taking Control in November Would Unleash a GOP Leadership Maelstrom (John T. Bennett)
  • States, Not Courts, Should Draw The Line on Abortion (Howard Lurie)
  • Why The Red Wave Is Becoming a Red Ripple (Nicholas Creel)
  • Mastriano Needs to Answer Questions (Pete Sirianni)

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