By Rich Kozlovich
I have a number of people I correspond with regularly from around the country, who are also in my list to receive P&D. This is a comment from a correspondent in Pennsylvania who is somewhat politically active in Pennsylvania, and is thoroughly aware of what's going on, and I especially appreciate his noting the "possible" McCormick connection, who is a Republican.
Here are his thoughts.
Just a note on your commentary about the Fetterman/Oz race. Because of the relentless TV ad attacks from the McCormick campaign and his supporting PAC(s) during the Republican primary, Oz’s “negative perception by voters” was around 38% - higher than the 31.1% or so who actually voted for him. No other PA Senate primary candidate on either side of the political aisle had such high negatives after the primary.
The ads in particular were quite vicious with themes of carpetbagging and the arrogance of being a media star. The ads were especially effective because:
(1) Oz had in fact spent very little time in the state getting to know party personnel on the local level; and
(2) the attacks came from a member of his own party and therefore had added credibility with Republican voters.
The Fetterman campaign simply repackaged the McCormick ads, and kept hammering away with continued success.
To his credit, Oz has since spent a great deal of time touring the state and getting to know PA Republicans and what they want. But it has been difficult to overcome the devastating effects of the McCormick campaign.
I often wondered in the primary whether the McCormick PACs were getting money from Democrats, and whether McCormick the hedge fund manager was a Democrat stalking horse who didn’t mind carrying a hunting rifle and pretending he was a regular Joe. I had seldom seen such relentless personal attacks between Republicans in a primary campaign.
It has been fortunate for Oz that he now has the Fetterman stroke issue to help him. Oz’s own ads mostly attack Fetterman as soft on crime, and fleetingly mention Oz’s accomplishments as a physician and son of immigrants at the end of the ads.
So yes, PA has not been good about producing good Republican candidates in recent elections. But Oz’s wounds have mainly been inflicted by a member of his own party.
It should be clear to the most casual observer John Fetterman has an abysmal record regarding crime and criminals. What in the world would possess the Democrats to choose a person as their pick for the United States Senate who brags about freeing murderers? Fetterman is a disaster, and yet it's my contention he'll get "elected". Why? Two words. Voter Fraud!
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