(NewsNation) — Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate contest lived up to its billing as a tight race as the votes continued to be counted Wednesday morning.
Hours after the polls closed, television personality Mehmet Oz and former George W. Bush administration official David McCormick are separated by less than a single percentage point. The race is too close to call.
A finish within half a percent would trigger a recount. Scott Tranter with Decision Desk HQ compared the breakdown of in-person versus absentee ballots to the 2020 presidential election that initially showed Joe Biden behind Donald Trump before Biden ultimately won.
“Based on how they’ve counted it and who’s been winning those, we know Mehmet Oz is going to close the gap,” Tranter said on “NewsNation Special Coverage.” “The question is, is he going to close the gap and make it close within recount? Is he going to close the gap and get ahead in recount? Or is he going to close the gap and get out of recount range?”
Oz is former President Donald Trump’s pick for the seat. Trump said voters in Pennsylvania had an opportunity to save America by electing Oz, who he believes to be well-liked by people due to his career in television.
“You know, when you’re in television for 18 years, that’s like a poll. That means people like you,” Trump said at a rally.
With the backing of Trump, Oz’s campaign was expected to divide Republicans in Pennsylvania in what’s turned out to be a neck-and-neck competition.
Oz has often challenged former CEO David McCormick during the campaign, and some say that’s made room for voters to consider Kathy Barnette as a conservative alternative to either McCormick or Oz.
According to reports, if Barnette won both the primary and general election, she would be the first Black Republican woman elected to the United States Senate.
In a radio interview the day before voters went to the polls, Barnette said she had “no intentions” of backing McCormick or Oz if either of them won the primary.
Developer Jeff Bartos and former ambassador Carla Sands are also in the GOP running.
The state’s lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, secured the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat to replace Pat Toomey.
Fetterman, 52, suffered a stroke last week but said he’s on track for a full recovery after undergoing surgery.
Elsewhere in the Keystone State, Doug Mastriano won the GOP nomination for governor. Trump endorsed Mastriano for the position held by term-limited incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf.
Mastriano took the victory over other Republican candidates including former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta and Dave White.
Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro will challenge Mastriano in November’s general election.