The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Midterms Ballots still being counted as races remain unresolved in Ore., Pa.

Mehmet Oz is battling for the right to face Pennsylvania's Lt. Gov. John Fetterman for a Senate seat in November. (Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg News)

Welcome to Post Politics Now.

Today, Pennsylvania’s bitterly fought Republican Senate race remains unresolved, with TV personality and heart surgeon Mehmet Oz, who has the backing of former president Donald Trump, and former hedge fund CEO and Army veteran David McCormick locked in a contest that could be headed to a recount. Kathy Barnette, a conservative media personality, was out of the running. On Wednesday, Trump publicly advised Oz to declare victory even as thousands of ballots remained uncounted.

After a day of balloting in five states, another notable contest also remained uncalled: Moderate incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader (D) is facing a spirited challenge from his left from school board member Jamie McLeod-Skinner for the Democratic nomination in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District.

Your daily dashboard

  • 11 a.m. Eastern: Vice President Harris delivered remarks at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement ceremony.
  • 1:45 p.m. Eastern: President Biden offered comments before getting a briefing at Joint Base Andrews on federal efforts to prepare for and respond to hurricanes this season. Watch it here.
  • 2 p.m. Eastern: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and national security adviser Jake Sullivan briefed reporters. Watch here.

Got a question about politics? Submit it here. At 3 p.m. weekdays, return to this space and we’ll address what’s on the mind of readers.

3:09 p.m.
Headshot of David Weigel
National reporter covering politics
False 2020 fraud claims shadow races in Idaho, Nebraska — An establishment-backed GOP candidate for secretary of state barely won his primary in Idaho on Tuesday — a week after Nebraska’s chief election official won with less than 50 percent of the vote against challengers who falsely claimed that the 2020 election was stolen.While former president Donald Trump handily won both states in 2020, conservative anger at the result coursed through each race. In Idaho, Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane had accepted funds from the Center on Tech in Public Life to bolster election work in the state’s most populous county, which includes the city of Boise. After the election, some conservative activists claimed that those grants, partially funded by Facebook, now Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, were used to skew the race toward Joe Biden. McGrane’s decision cost him votes in the secretary of state primary, and he prevailed by fewer than 5,000 ballots out of more than 260,000 cast — over a runner-up who promoted “2000 Mules,” a new film that claims a vast conspiracy to deliver fake Biden ballots to drop boxes.In Nebraska, Secretary of State Bob Evnen won more decisively, with 45 percent of the vote, over two challengers who suggested that fraud had taken the presidency from Trump. But he fell far short of a majority, in part, because he had aggressively defended the state’s election process, publishing a report on what had worked a few months before the primary.
1:39 p.m.
Headshot of Colby Itkowitz
Congress, campaigns, health policy, Pennsylvania politics
Numbers suggest Fetterman boosted Democratic turnout — Democratic voter turnout has been down between 41 and 70 percentage points, compared with 2020, in every state except Pennsylvania that has voted so far in the midterm primaries. Tuesday night, Democratic turnout in Pennsylvania was down only 17 percentage points, suggesting much higher enthusiasm among Democratic voters there than elsewhere.Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won the Democratic Senate primary decisively with nearly 60 percent of the vote, may have played a significant role in that turnout. He has generated his own folk-hero status among many Democrats who were eager to vote for him. Unlike in recent years, when their impetus to vote was against Donald Trump, many Pennsylvania voters said they were energized to vote for someone.One of Fetterman’s campaign talking points is his ability to turn out voters. It points to his victory on the ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf in 2018, when the pair gained nearly a million more votes than Wolf did when he first ran with a different running mate in 2014.