The Pennsylvania Senate Debate, Was it Fair?

Dominic Cade, Senior Editor

The Pennsylvania Senate Debate took place on Tuesday, October 25, and had nearly all Pennsylvanian eyes watching. The two candidates, Democrat nominee, and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz, battled it out, answering distinct questions that would directly impact the lives of many Pennsylvania voters. 

A couple of the major topics asked during the debate included abortion and fracking. When asked multiple times about supporting a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Dr. Oz did not give a direct answer as he felt that it was hard to decide following the overturning of Roe V. Wade; a Supreme Court decision which ruled that the Constitution of the United States allows citizens the right to have an abortion. 

This inability to choose a side left Republican viewers who wish to ban abortion questioning their candidate. Fetterman, on the other hand, directly promoted his vote to bring abortion protection laws to life, stating, “If you believe that the choice for abortion belongs between you and your doctor, that’s what I fight for.” The Democrat fought hard throughout the entire debate, something the Berks County native instituted as one of the main attributes that he would apply as Senator. 

As viewers watched the debate, they could clearly see that Mr. Fetterman was delayed in his time to produce an answer and struggled with quickly comprehending the questions. This was evident as he spoke alongside the professionals in the television field in Dr. Oz, for he also sometimes mix up his words which confused the audience. The reason for the mix-ups was that Mr. Fetterman scarcely had a stroke back in May, just a few days before Pennsylvania had its primary election. The life-threatening stroke has led Fetterman to struggle with auditory processing, which is when he requested and was provided a closed-captioning screen during the debate. It seemed as though, however, that precious time ticked away from the nominee as the question had ended but the words were still popping up on the screen.

By being able to go up on the stage and simply attempting to quickly compete with the nerve-wracking circumstances that a debate such as this contains all after following his stroke, the Democratic nominee gained the respect of voters from across the state yet led many to wonder how this would affect him if he were voted in. To this Fetterman replied, “This campaign is all about, to me, is about fighting for everyone in Pennsylvania that ever got knocked down.”

When the other major topic about fracking arose, Republican Dr. Oz seemed to agree with Mr. Fetterman, which seemed to be one of the few things that could be agreed upon by the two, in which they both support fracking. 

The Debate brought up many questions for Pennsylvania voters, but also cleared up a few about what these nominees will bring to the table if elected. The election will take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.