What should you look for in tonight’s Fetterman-Oz debate in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Senate debate on Tuesday between Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican, and Lt. gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, will probably be one of the most watched of all midterm debates. It’s a clash between two great personalities, who have alternately mocked and scathingly attacked each other, over trivial (fresh vegetables) and very serious (violent crime).

Interest in the debate, in a game crucial to Senate control, is skyrocketing as polls show the race is tightening two weeks before Election Day, and Mr. Fetterman of a stroke two days before the May primary.

The 60-minute debate will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern Time from a TV studio in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There will be no live audience. Here’s what to look out for:

Mr. Fetterman still has difficulty digesting spoken words, and he will answer the questions from the two moderators and Dr. Read Oz on large monitors with subtitles. The Fetterman campaign warns that the property could delay its response, and it worries Republicans will try to make snippets of the debate go viral with Mr. Fetterman’s pauses and omissions or unclear words.

Don’t expect a quick response. The candidates have big differences in style. dr. Oz spent 13 years as a TV host and has gone from an empathetic broadcast character to a political candidate with sharp, concise attack lines. Even before his stroke, Mr. Fetterman was a so-so debater with a meandering, normal way of speaking.

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A month ago, Oz’s campaign mockingly drew attention to Mr Fetterman’s refusal to participate in a series of debates (a spokeswoman said he might not have had a stroke if he’d eaten his vegetables). But after the intense focus on the Democrat’s health seemed to set off a backlash, Dr. Oz now that it will stick to the policy differences of the candidates and to highlight what it calls Mr Fetterman’s “extremism”.

How Times reporters cover politics. We trust that our journalists are independent observers. So while Times employees may vote, they may not support or campaign for candidates or political causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or giving money to, or raising money for, a political candidate or election cause.

Mr. Fetterman is likely to attack his opponent as a “Hollywood doctor” who owns several homes, only moved to the state in 2020, and poured $23 million of his fortune into the race. dr. Oz may come back with the defense that he made his fortune, while Mr. Fetterman received an allowance from his family until he was nearly 50. (He only collected a token salary as mayor of Braddock, Pa., for 13 years.)

Perhaps Mr Fetterman’s strongest point against Dr. Oz, and a pivotal point in the battle for suburban voters, is Dr. Oz has been against abortion since he entered politics. Search for Mr. Fetterman to draw attention to a statement from Dr. Oz that life begins at conception and ending a pregnancy at any time is “still murder.”

This is the issue where Dr. Oz has made the most aggressive efforts for Mr. Fetterman to coddle criminals for his plea for leniency for long-incarcerated men convicted of murder. dr. Oz calls him “the most pro-assassin candidate” in the country. Viewers can see Dr. Oz name individuals and their crimes for whom Mr. Fetterman has pleaded for leniency. The focus on crime, particularly homicides and mob violence in Philadelphia, is intended to fuel the fear of voters outside the city. How will Mr. Fetterman defend his leadership of the state clemency council and his support for criminal justice reform?

Western Pennsylvania has large natural gas reserves. As Mr. Fetterman appeals to union voters, especially in the Pittsburgh area, Dr. Oz is most likely trying to undermine him by attacking his previous opposition to fracking, which creates thousands of jobs. Mr Fetterman now supports fracking, but in 2018 he opposed it.


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