HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz met for the first time at the abc27 studio in Harrisburg for their only scheduled debate in the Pennsylvania U.S Senate race.
Fetterman stood and participated in the debate for an hour months after suffering a stroke. Fetterman admitted to having issues mushing words together and offered several rebuttals to Oz during the debate.
Both candidates debated issues that will affect Pennsylvanians in a race that could flip the balance of power in Washington. The top issue of the night was the economy where Fetterman and Oz discussed taxes and fighting inflation.
Oz said Fetterman has previously raised taxes as mayor and that he will continue to do so. Oz says he will make difficult decisions like he did in the operating room when it comes to cutting federal spending.
Fetterman said he would support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 saying $7.25 an hour is a “disgrace.” He said Americans who work full time should be “able to work in dignity”
Oz said Fetterman had a “radical plan” and that if PA could unleash its energy there’d be “plenty of money to go around” to increase wages and to help students take vocational classes. Oz said he wants the minimum wage to go up as high as it could go through market forces.
Coverage of the Fetterman-Oz debate will stream live on this page starting at 7:30 p.m. with our exclusive pre-show free for all to watch
The debate was moderated by WHTM abc27 News anchor Dennis Owens and WPXI anchor Lisa Sylvester with questions covering the issues most important to Pennsylvania voters.
Only Nexstar and Nexstar contracted partners may stream the debate to their websites or on their social media channels. The use of video from the debate is prohibited until the debate has concluded.
A WHTM/Emerson College poll of 1,000 Pennsylvania voters found the race between Oz and Fetterman to be a virtual tie. Fetterman led Oz 44.6% to 42.6% with a +/-3% margin of error. Third-party candidates received 5% and 7.9% were undecided.
Nine percent of Republicans (twice as much compared to Democrats) said there were undecided. Independents leaned towards Oz at 45.5% and 11.8% were undecided.
The economy is the most important issue for 39% of Pennsylvania voters, followed by threats to democracy (14%), and abortion access (13%), according to the poll
Election Day for the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race is November 8, 2022.