Mehmet Oz sees no hometown boost in Pa. Senate race after moving to Montco to run

Mehmet Oz received a lot of criticism for moving to Pennsylvania to run for the Senate. And he ended up winning the primary without much of the hometown love that candidates typically enjoy.

Oz won the Republican Senate primary last month in a race so close it triggered an automatic recount.

But the results showed almost no regional advantage for Oz at all, according to an Inquirer analysis of election data.

The famous surgeon known as “Dr. Oz” grew up in Delaware, attended University of Pennsylvania medical school, lived in North Jersey for many years and has lived with his in-laws in Montgomery County since 2020. David McCormick, who narrowly lost to Oz, grew up there at Bloomsburg but only recently moved back from Connecticut where he ran a hedge fund.

» READ MORE: The area codes in Pa. set turnout records. Here’s what else the data shows.

In a narrow-minded state where long-standing loyalty and regional pride count for much, both have been heavily criticized for being out-of-state opportunists — or “political tourists,” as some rivals called them.

“If these carpet diggers lose, you’ll never see them again,” GOP Senate nominee Kathy Barnette said in April. “And if they win, you’ll never see them again.”

Oz and McCormick were the top voters, certainly thanks in part to the millions they’ve spent of their own fortune getting their messages on TVs across the state. But they got that support without the regional hometown boost candidates they usually have.

Oz’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Neither candidate was particularly dominant in any region of the state. McCormick won his home county of Allegheny, but not by much. Oz lost Montgomery to Barnette, who had previously run for Congress in the county and won strong support there in her Senate nomination.

Contrast this pattern to the GOP governor’s race, where there were strong hometown effects.

Though State Senator Doug Mastriano won that race comfortably nationally, he lost by a wide margin in places where his opponents had longstanding support. Former US Rep. Lou Barletta ran the score throughout northeastern Pennsylvania, where he was mayor of Hazleton for a decade. Bill McSwain and David White won their respective homes in Chester and Delaware counties.

And Mastriano did best in his home region of South-Central Pennsylvania.

The race for the Democratic Senate also had regional dimensions.

Though John Fetterman wore all the counties, US Rep. Conor Lamb did his best in the Southwest, where he is the sitting congressman, and in the Philly suburbs, where his brand of dovish politics is well received. And Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta was by far his strongest in Philadelphia. He represents part of North Philly in the State House.

Fetterman has already started pursuing Oz for a recent transplant. After Oz officially became the nominee, Fetterman’s campaign began selling “Dr. Oz for New Jersey bumper sticker.

Read our full analysis of voter turnout and primary election results.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.