Mehmet Oz sees no boost in his hometown of Pennsylvania. The Senate race after moving to Montco to run
Mehmet Oz received a lot of flak for moving to Pennsylvania to run for the Senate. And in the end, he won the primary without much of the love candidates usually enjoy in his hometown.
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, according to an Inquirer analysis of election data.
The famous surgeon known as “Dr. Oz” grew up in Delaware, attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, lived for years in North Jersey and lives with his in-laws in Montgomery County since 2020. David McCormick, who narrowly lost to Oz, grew up in Bloomsburg but only recently returned from Connecticut, where he ran a hedge fund.
READ MORE: Pennsylvania’s primary election set voter turnout records. Here’s what else the data shows.
In a parochial state where long-standing loyalties and regional pride matter a lot, the two have been criticized for being out-of-state opportunists — or “political tourists,” as some rivals called them.
“When these baggage handlers lose, you’ll never see them again,” GOP Senate candidate Kathy Barnette said in April. “And if they win, you’ll never see them again.”
Oz and McCormick were the main voters, surely in part thanks to the millions they spent of their own fortune, delivering their messages to television sets across the state. But they got that support without the regional boost candidates usually have.
The Oz 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 had strong support there during her Senate run.
Contrast this pattern with the GOP governor’s race, where there were strong hometown effects.
Although State Senator Doug Mastriano won this statewide race, he lost by wide margins in places where his opponents had long-standing support bases. Former U.S. Representative Lou Barletta upped the ante across northeastern Pennsylvania, where he served as mayor of Hazleton for a decade. Bill McSwain and David White won their respective Chester and Delaware county homes.
And Mastriano performed best in his home region of south-central Pennsylvania.
The Democratic Senate race also had regional dimensions.
Although John Fetterman has carried every county, U.S. Representative Conor Lamb has done his best in the Southwest, where he sits in Congress, and in suburban Philadelphia, where his brand of moderate politics works well. And State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta was by far his strongest in Philadelphia. He represents part of North Philly at the State House.
Fetterman has already started suing Oz for being a recent transplant. After Oz officially became the nominee, Fetterman’s campaign began selling “Dr. Oz for New Jersey bumper stickers”.
Read our full analysis of voter turnout and primary election results.