It looks like it’s going to be awhile before we get an answer on who won the Senate Republican primary in Pennsylvania:
POLITICO – Dr. Mehmet Oz is still ahead by a whisker in Pennsylvania’s razor-thin Senate GOP contest. But David McCormick is slowly chipping away at his lead, and both sides are preparing for a drawn-out vote-counting process marked by hand-to-hand combat behind the scenes.
As of Thursday evening , Oz had an edge of only 1,083 votes, or one-tenth of a percentage point — down from under 1,700 votes Wednesday.
Despite essentially being tied, the Oz and McCormick teams are both publicly projecting confidence that they will be on top once all the ballots are counted. By state law, an automatic recount will be triggered if the race comes down to half of one percent or less — unless the runner-up backs down and officially declines a recount.
But at this juncture, neither camp is signaling that they’ll throw in the towel. Instead, Pennsylvania Republicans are predicting trench warfare that could drag out for weeks — and be fought in the media, as well as potentially in the courts — in the state’s closely watched primary.
“The chances of a recount are 100 percent and no less,” said Josh Novotney, a Pennsylvania-based GOP consultant. “There’s still votes coming in. It will probably get even tighter than it is now, which is almost humanly impossible. Each side will definitely be wanting any slight edge they can get going into a recount.”
On Thursday morning, Pennsylvania’s Department of State said there were about 51,000 mail-in and absentee ballots left to count. Of those, 17,000 were in the GOP primary.
“Both Oz and McCormick have enlisted alumni from former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign to gird themselves for a potential recount…”
Both Oz and McCormick have enlisted alumni from former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign to gird themselves for a potential recount. Mike Roman, the director of Trump’s Election Day operations, is helping the McCormick team, according to a source familiar with his efforts. The Oz campaign has brought onboard James Fitzpatrick, who led Pennsylvania’s Election Day operations for Trump.
Wally Zimolong, a Pennsylvania-based attorney, is also working for McCormick. He tweeted Wednesday that he was headed on behalf of the McCormick campaign to Lancaster County, where a number of ballots couldn’t be scanned because of a printing error, “to ensure the integrity of the counting of the mail-in ballots.”
James Schultz, a former Trump White House lawyer, and David Urban, former top Trump campaign adviser, have also been dispatched to McCormick’s headquarters in western Pennsylvania to help with the effort, according to a source close to the McCormick campaign.
In addition, the McCormick campaign has hired veteran Republican lawyer Chuck Cooper to be the lead of their legal efforts, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cooper won Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-Fla.) 2018 recount effort and also recently won the Supreme Court campaign finance case brought by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
And lawyer Shohin Vance, who works with the firm Kleinbard LLC, is aiding Oz.
A source told POLITICO they received a call from the firm Vanguard Field Strategies, which said it was helping the McCormick campaign with a possible recount. The company said it is looking to bring in 300 people, and offered paid travel, a rental car and $125 a day to observe the potential recount, the person said.
I was really hoping we’d have an answer on this today or tonight. But even if there turns out to be a final vote count, it looks like the real answer right now is going to be a recount.
Which means it might be another month before we know.