Commentator Kathy Barnette surged in the Republican primary race for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat, a new survey revealed.
According to a poll of more than 1,000 likely Republican primary voters by the Trafalgar Group, television host Dr. Mehmet Oz currently leads the race with a 24.5% margin. Barnette follows closely behind at 23.2%, while former hedge fund CEO and Treasury Department official David McCormick comes in third at 21.6%. As the margin of error is 3%, the three candidates are virtually tied.
The poll — conducted between May 6 and May 8 — shows Barnette clinching the runner-up position from McCormick, who followed Oz in Trafalgar’s April poll. Barnette, however, has spent significantly less than Oz and McCormick, who have each shelled out $11 million for their campaigns, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Barnette’s surge in the polls immediately follows the Republican primary debate on May 4, in which Barnette accused Oz of flip-flopping on his abortion stance.
“Whether this was a leak or whether it was a tactical operation, we will soon figure out,” Barnette said in reference to the Supreme Court’s tentative Roe v. Wade decision, “but one thing is clear: I am so very grateful that our nation is now having a very important conversation and that is one of the most important conversations: that is about life. I am the byproduct of a rape. My mother was 11 years old when I was conceived; my father was 21.”
“I was not just a lump of cells. As you can see I’m still not just a lump of cells, my life has value,” she added.
Barnette then slammed Oz, claiming: “And that is one of the reasons why it was so very disturbing when I saw Mehmet Oz running for this particular race when I’ve seen him on numerous occasions — and specifically at the Breakfast Club — saying that my life was nothing more than an acorn with electrical currents.”
“I am wondering if the good doctor has now since changed his position on that,” she fired. “My life is valuable and so are the many lives that find themselves in the womb of their mother, whether in the womb or towards the end of that life.”
Given 30 seconds to respond, Oz cited his mother-in-law. “You know, one of the toughest endorsements you can ever get is from your mother-in-law,” he replied. “And my mother-in-law is an ordained minister. She wrote a lot of the pro-life literature in Montgomery County where we live and she certainly understands that I’m pro-life.”
“I was a heart surgeon,” he stated. “I’ve operated on small children, a few days old, and witnessed the majesty of their hearts pounding blood even though it’s ill cause I’m operating on those bodies. I would never think of harming that child, or even nine months earlier because life starts at conception.”
In a December 2021 interview with Fox News, Oz said that although he is “pro-life,” he believes in “three exceptions” — “the health for the mother being the primary one, but rape and incest as well.”