Republican operative David Urban anticipates that businessman David McCormick will overtake Dr. Mehmet Oz in the coming days in the Republican primary for the Pennsylvania Senate, and that McCormick would likely survive the recount.
Urban, who has spent more than 20 years in Pennsylvania politics and works for McCormick, spoke about his expectations during an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday.
“I would say that … when all these votes that have been cast are counted, McCormick will be up front, as we get closer to the count, when they are all counted,” Urban said. “Now, again, that’s going to be a couple of days here, but I suspect they’ll be done by next week.”
Urban spoke as thousands of mail-in ballots appear to remain uncounted from Tuesday’s main race, with Oz leading 1,078 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast through Saturday.
Determining how many mail-in ballots are pending has proven tedious, as the Pennsylvania Department of State may lag behind individual counties in recording the numbers. Additionally, some county return boards, which were in the process of recording mail-in ballots that were postmarked by Election Day, were working Wednesday but were not scheduled to meet again until Friday. Starting Friday morning, politician reported About 8,300 mail-in ballots remained, citing the State Department.
MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki corroborated that figure Friday afternoon, adding that overseas and military ballots and provisional ballots were also pending. The state accepts military ballots until 5:00 pm on Tuesday.
Where are things now:
*Still waiting for the remaining 10 precincts from Allegheny; it should be a small batch (maybe ~500).
* Approximately 8,000 mail-in ballots spread across the state
* Maybe 200-300 overseas/military votes #
* Up to 2000 provisional, and probably less https://t.co/DgwwZCShXs
—Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) May 20, 2022
McCormick had led Oz by about 9 percent in mail-in ballots, one of multiple factors that led a senior McCormick campaign official to declare in a press call Thursday that the campaign was “pretty safe.” that McCormick would emerge as the winner of the race.
Urban said of the upcoming results: “It won’t be 1,000 votes. It may be 200 votes, but we’ll be in the positive territory here in a few days, it’s my suspicion once we get these; It could be Tuesday when we’re ahead, you know, or Oz may be ahead by 50, but he’s going to be close. He is going to be this close.”
Urban spoke Saturday about his expectations for a recount, which is triggered if the results are within a 0.5 percent margin and no campaign has conceded. The tally would have to be completed by June 7, under state law, with a winner likely to be declared the following day.
Urban said he met with recount lawyers on Friday, who told him “there could be a swing of several hundred votes, up to a thousand votes.”
“Usually it’s not—you’re not producing 10,000 votes one way or another. … Hundreds of votes are won or lost in these recounts. So because this race is so close, that count will matter because it will be material. You’re going to be here where Oz may be up or Dave McCormick may be up by 100 or 200 votes, and the recount is going to hit or add a few hundred votes, and then you’re going to have a conclusion, and at the end of the day, I’m still confident where Dave McCormick will end up on top and be the next United States Senator from Pennsylvania, not just the Republican nominee, but the next United States Senator.”
The Associated Press stated Friday that the primary was too close to call regardless of the remaining ballots that come in and that the outlet would not declare a winner until after the expected recount.
He noted that between the two campaigns, hundreds of attorneys have been dispatched across the state as every last vote turns critical and a recount looms.
Controversy over ballot counting was minimal until Friday, when a court ruled that mail-in ballots that arrived in undated envelopes should be counted for a case over Lehigh County’s 2020 ballots.
McCormick’s campaign quickly argued that this decision should take effect immediately and affect the Senate primary contest, while Oz, who has so far been at a disadvantage in mail-in ballots, disagreed.
Oz issued a statement Saturday saying, “It is becoming obvious” that McCormick “will likely fall short” and that his argument that officials count undated rejected Senate primary ballots “is following the playbook of the Democrats.”
—Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) May 21, 2022