HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) – It’s the home-stretch for both Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman and his Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz, with now only nine days to the election.
On Sunday, Fetterman was in Harrisburg to kick off a canvassing event with dozens of supporters. Today’s canvass kickoff comes less than a week after Fetterman faced Oz on the debate stage. Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in the spring, utilized closed captioning and acknowledged in the beginning of Tuesday’s highly-anticipated debate, that he may stumble on a word here and there.
The race could potentially determine who controls the U.S. Senate, as Democrats look to pick up the seat being vacated by Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
Recent polls have narrowed, with Fetterman now holding a one-point lead over Oz, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average from Friday. At the beginning of last week, Fetterman held an advantage of 2.6 points over Oz.
Fetterman reemphasized today that the race will be close.
“We always knew that it was going to be close, and it’s absolutely going to be close. But every county and every vote, it all matters,” said Fetterman.
Fetterman rallied supporters and reiterated some of his campaign’s top priorities, like reproductive rights, eliminating the filibuster and fighting for unions.
“A union way of life is sacred to me, and that’s what this campaign is about,” said Fetterman, who also discussed things like raising the minimum wage and protecting democracy. “Voting in Pennsylvania is safe and secure,” he added.
Supporters and volunteers at today’s rally say they’re inspired by Fetterman, given his health challenges and are even more encouraged to canvass for him.
“The word that I walk away with today is, inspiration,” said Liz Reilly, a Fetterman canvasser. “John is an inspiration to us all, working so hard with his recovery and still fighting for Pennsylvanians, all Pennsylvanians,” she added.
“I have chronic health issues and I felt dismissed, I felt belittled because of that in the past. So, I really related to that and I related to, him having his struggles, but he’s knocked down and he’s getting back up,” said Tracy Brown, who was also canvassing for Fetterman today.
Fetterman was pushed by moderators in Tuesday’s debate on whether he’d release detailed medical records, but said he’s already been transparent about his health.