Declaring victory would make it much harder for ‘them’ to cheat, said the former president
Former President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that GOP Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Öz should declare victory in the Republican primary race to succeed the retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
“Dr. Öz should declare victory,” Trump said in a post on Truth Social. “It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to find.’”
Trump’s comment came as the celebrity-turned politician, first endorsed by the former president in April, leads McCormick by less than 2,000 votes—a margin of less than 0.2 percent—as of around 6:30 p.m. Friday. Kathy Barnette, whom Trump said “took many votes away from Öz,” stands in third place with a 6.4 percent margin under McCormick.
If the margin between Öz and McCormick does not increase to 0.5 percent or more as the rest of the ballots are counted, the secretary of state would need to order a recount under Pennsylvania law by May 26 at the latest. In such a scenario, state laws then demand the recount to occur on June 1 and be completed by noon of June 7.
Trump, who previously stated that the Republicans lost Pennsylvania in 2020 because miscounted mail-in ballots favored Biden, said on Wednesday morning in another post: “Here we go again! In Pennsylvania, they are unable to count the Mail-In Ballots. It is a BIG MESS. Our Country should go to paper ballots, with same day voting. Just done in France, zero problems. Get Smart America!!!”
Pennsylvania’s recent “no-excuse” mail-in voting law (Act 77), which allows voters to vote by mail without providing a valid reason, is currently in effect. Republican lawmakers in 2021 contended that the law is not constitutional and petitioned to strike it down.
In January this year, Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania sided with the Republicans in an opinion. The case has been in the hands of the state Supreme Court after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration appealed the lower court’s decision.
The 2022 GOP primaries have become a litmus test for the 45th president’s influence in the party and among conservatives.
As of Wednesday, most Trump-backed contenders enjoyed a comfortable victory over their contenders, including Rep. Ted Budd and Bo Hines in North Carolina, Rep. Alex Mooney in West Virginia, J.D. Vance, Max Miller, and Madison Gesiotto Gilbert in Ohio, and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, three other Trump endorsees, including North Carolina’s Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Nebraska’s Charles W. Herbster, and Idaho’s Janice McGeachin, were not able to secure a win over their Republican counterparts.
The razor-thin margin for Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary will remain a focal point until the rest of the mail-in and absentee ballots are counted.
“I do know that [McCormick] was with a company that managed money for Communist China, and he is absolutely the candidate of special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment,” Trump said at a May 6 rally for Öz .
“David is totally controlled. This is the opponent backed by Mitch McConnell,” he added.