UPDATE: 3 p.m. — It might take several days for officials to declare a winner in the GOP Senate contest in Pennsylvania, as mail-in ballots are being counted in the deadlocked race.
“We expect to have unofficial results within a few days,” the Pennsylvania State Department said in a statement late Tuesday.
As the ballot counting continued into Wednesday, Mehmet Oz managed to overtake Dave McCormick. With the vast majority of ballots already tabulated, Oz is now leading by fewer than 2,000 votes, a slim enough margin to trigger a recount.
Late Tuesday, each candidate indicated he was confident he would win.
LANCASTER, Pa. — The tumultuous GOP Senate contest in Pennsylvania ended Tuesday without a clear winner as vote-counting showed Dave McCormick and Mehmet Oz in too-close-to-call territory.
No outlets have called the race, and neither campaign has conceded. It’s possible the vote might head into a mandatory recount if the eventual margin of victory is less than 0.5%.
McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, was leading Oz, the Donald Trump-backed TV doctor, by a fraction of a percent going into Wednesday.
Kathy Barnette, a hard-right conservative commentator who was trailing Oz and McCormick throughout the evening, didn’t concede at her election night party. But late in the evening, she seemed to signal it was over, acknowledging her backers who were dancing with two giant screens projecting Fox News in the background. Barnette, who had a surprise bump in polling, is projected to finish in third place.
“Don’t be discouraged because we have a country to save. The left has shown that they are not playing with us,” Barnette said, inside a catering-hall barn at a bucolic event center. “In order to steal the election away from me, they lied and they did a lot of it.”
McCormick and Oz spent tens of millions of dollars attacking each other in TV ads, making this contest for the Republican nomination the most expensive in the nation.
The lack of an immediate result on Tuesday doesn’t bode especially well for Trump. In this instance, his endorsement hasn’t been a definitive rubber stamp for the Republican nomination.
Both Oz and McCormick faced questions about their Pennsylvania residency, entanglements with China and conservative credentials.