Half of Pennsylvania Mail Votes Cast Before Fetterman’s Disastrous Debate

Nearly half of all mail votes in Pennsylvania had already been cast before Tuesday night’s Senate debate, which was deemed a disaster — even by Democrats — after Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (D), recovering from a stroke, struggled. form coherent sentences.

Fetterman had tried to avoid debate, and his campaign has limited his public appearances. When he finally agreed, the Democrats tried to delay the debate until the ballots had already been mailed out, as the Democrats are more likely to use that method and more of the party’s vote would already be cast.

But since 82% of viewers said Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz won the debate, it’s likely some of those Democrats would make a different choice today.

The Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial on Tuesday that the outcome of the debate may not matter, given the timing and the postal vote:

Pennsylvania voters finally got a debate on Tuesday night between their Senate candidates, Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz. Mr. Fetterman is still recovering from a stroke and he relied on captioning to understand the debate questions. Voters can decide whether he will allay concerns about his health.

Remarkably, however, nearly half of the ballots requested in Pennsylvania have already been cast and returned, according to the US Elections Project. By Tuesday, two weeks before what used to be Election Day, officials had received 635,428 votes in the mail of the 1,310,189 voters originally requested. That’s 48%. Given the delay between a voter’s letterbox and the local polling station, the real figure is certainly higher.

Most people continue to vote on Election Day, but the data there isn’t exactly reassuring. About five million people voted in the 2018 Pennsylvania Senate race. Assuming this year’s eventual turnout will be similar, then about 10% of the vote could already be cast for Mr. Fetterman or Mr. Oz, before the public even has a chance to see them mixed up on TV.

Similar concerns have been raised in other states, where the first debates are held after the start of the early and postal voting.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday nights from 7pm to 10pm ET (4pm to 7pm PT). He is the author of the recent ebook Neither Free Nor Fair: The 2020 US Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential election from a conservative perspective. He is winner of the Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship 2018. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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