Here’s where Fetterman, Oz stand on key issues

Pennsylvania 2022 midterm election

Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman (Associated Press-Matt Rourke/Gene J. Puskar)

(NewsNation) — Pennsylvania Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Republican challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz are preparing to go head-to-head as a pivotal Senate race unfolds.

With just three weeks until the midterm election, NewsNation election partner Decision Desk HQ has dubbed the race between Fetterman and Oz a toss-up. The polls previously favored Fetterman, whose lead has steadily narrowed in the past several weeks.

Voters will hear from both Fetterman and Oz on Oct. 25 during a debate exclusively nationally broadcast by NewsNation and aired on Nexstar’s local Pennsylvania stations. The debate is scheduled for 8-9 p.m. ET (7-8 p.m. CT).

Below is a summary of each candidate’s stance on key issues including immigration, crime, abortion, inflation and energy.

Immigration

If elected, Fetterman has said he plans to modernize the nation’s visa system and asylum programs and work to improve paths to citizenship.

He was among other Democratic Senate candidates who earlier this year distanced themselves from President Joe Biden’s border approach, particularly as it pertained to phasing out Title 42.

The lieutenant governor told Politico in April that the policy shouldn’t end without a detailed plan in place.

While Fetterman advocates for paths to citizenship, Oz supports securing the border either with a wall or smart border technology, according to his campaign website.

He’s criticized Biden’s handling of the southern border, claiming that his policies invite crime, human trafficking and drugs into the country.

Crime

Both Fetterman and Oz are self-proclaimed firearm owners, but disagree on matters of gun control.

Fetterman is a proponent of universal background checks and red flag laws, while Oz has explicitly opposed such laws, stating gun owners shouldn’t “compromise our ability to protect ourselves.”

Oz has also said he would oppose reforms including the elimination of cash bail and would give police a “powerful voice in Washington.”

Fetterman’s views on crime have mostly surrounded gun violence. During his time as mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, the city achieved more than five years without a gun death.

His involvement on the state board of pardons was the subject to criticism after Fetterman supported clemency for two men convicted of a 1993 robbery and fatal shooting. The pair served 27 years in prison before Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor commuted their sentences. The men maintain their innocence, NBC News reported. Fetterman advocated for their release and both men now work for his campaign.

Oz has used Fetterman’s clemency advocacy in campaign ads to label the lieutenant governor as “soft on crime.”

Inflation

Oz blames Biden for inflation and the rising cost of groceries. He also opposed the Inflation Reduction Act and says the president’s policies and COVID-19 shutdowns caused the nation’s economic and supply chain issues.

Fetterman on the other hand supports producing more goods in America and buying only from companies that make their products in the U.S. If elected, he said he would ban Congress from trading stocks, would introduce caps on out-of-pocket health care costs, and advocate to lower taxes for working families.

Abortion

Oz, who supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade, said he believes that life starts at conception has referred to himself as “100% pro-life.”

During a recent interview with NBC, Oz said he wouldn’t support any federal rule limiting what states do with abortion because “it should be up to the states.”

Fetterman, however, has vowed to protect access to abortion by supporting the Women’s Health Protection Act. The law would secure the right for healthcare workers to provide abortion care and patients’ right to receive such care.

Energy

Both Oz and Fetterman support investing in U.S.-sourced energy.

Oz, however, says it’s Biden’s “attack on the energy industry” that caused gas prices to skyrocket, while Fetterman blames “the greed of oil companies.”

Oz has promised to overturn what he called “heavy-handed regulation and achieve energy independence.

Fetterman supported suspending the federal gas tax and advocates for a shift toward clean energy while maintaining union jobs for industry workers.

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