But astatine this juncture, neither campy is signaling that they’ll propulsion successful the towel. Instead, Pennsylvania Republicans are predicting trench warfare that could resistance retired for weeks — and beryllium fought successful the media, arsenic good arsenic perchance successful the courts — successful the state’s intimately watched primary.
“The chances of a recount are 100 percent and nary less,” said Josh Novotney, a Pennsylvania-based GOP consultant. “There’s inactive votes coming in. It volition astir apt get adjacent tighter than it is now, which is astir humanly impossible. Each broadside volition decidedly beryllium wanting immoderate flimsy borderline they tin get going into a recount.”
On Thursday morning, Pennsylvania’s Department of State said determination were astir 51,000 mail-in and absentee ballots near to count. Of those, 17,000 were successful the GOP primary.
A elder authoritative successful the McCormick run said Thursday day that determination were much than 15,000 uncounted GOP absentee ballots remaining successful summation to immoderate Election Day votes not yet tallied. The idiosyncratic besides said that determination were astir 1,500 subject and overseas ballots received truthful acold from each governmental parties, which they believed would payment McCormick due to the fact that of his inheritance arsenic an Army combat seasoned and outreach the run had made to those voters.
By Thursday evening, the Pennsylvania Department of State told POLITICO determination were lone an estimated 8,700 Republican mail-in and absentee ballots near to count. The fig was “based connected a examination of ballot totals to Republican ballots returned and accusation we received from counties passim the afternoon,” said Department of State spokeswoman Grace Griffaton.
Oz’s run confirmed this estimation Thursday afternoon, adding that “we judge it volition beryllium little than that.”
The run besides threw acold h2o connected the value of remaining votes successful Allegheny County for McCormick, wherever the campaigns are waiting connected last tallies from 31 of the county’s precincts.
“Relying connected these votes, that mathematics conscionable isn’t there,” the Oz run said connected a league call, projecting determination are conscionable a small implicit 1,800 Republican votes remaining among the outstanding Election Day numbers. “They’re conscionable heavy Democratic areas.”
On Wednesday evening, Jeff Roe, McCormick’s run wide counsel, tweeted that helium was down by 2,700 votes connected Tuesday nighttime but had closed the spread by 1,500 votes. He predicted, “Dave is going to win.”
Casey Contres, Oz’s run manager, tweeted the aforesaid day, “While we look to get a amended consciousness of the remaining votes today, we are optimistic Dr. Oz volition win.”
Both Oz and McCormick person enlisted alumni from erstwhile President Donald Trump’s 2020 run to gird themselves for a imaginable recount. Mike Roman, the manager of Trump’s Election Day operations, is helping the McCormick team, according to a root acquainted with his efforts. The Oz run has brought onboard James Fitzpatrick, who led Pennsylvania’s Election Day operations for Trump.
Wally Zimolong, a Pennsylvania-based attorney, is besides moving for McCormick. He tweeted Wednesday that helium was headed connected behalf of the McCormick run to Lancaster County, wherever a fig of ballots couldn’t beryllium scanned due to the fact that of a printing error, “to guarantee the integrity of the counting of the mail-in ballots.”
James Schultz, a erstwhile Trump White House lawyer, and David Urban, erstwhile apical Trump run adviser, person besides been dispatched to McCormick’s office successful occidental Pennsylvania to assistance with the effort, according to a root adjacent to the McCormick campaign.
In addition, the McCormick run has hired seasoned Republican lawyer Chuck Cooper to beryllium the pb of their ineligible efforts, according to a idiosyncratic acquainted with the matter. Cooper won Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-Fla.) 2018 recount effort and besides precocious won the Supreme Court run concern lawsuit brought by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
And lawyer Shohin Vance, who works with the steadfast Kleinbard LLC, is aiding Oz.
A root told POLITICO they received a telephone from the steadfast Vanguard Field Strategies, which said it was helping the McCormick run with a imaginable recount. The institution said it is looking to bring successful 300 people, and offered paid travel, a rental car and $125 a time to observe the imaginable recount, the idiosyncratic said.
Asked astir the likelihood of a recount, Christopher Nicholas, a longtime Pennsylvania-based GOP consultant, said: “If you’re the showhorse, arsenic they say, and it’s free, what bash you person to lose?”
He said the campaigns “both person done it the close way, being astir virtually vigor soundless and allowing the process to get to completion,” but “once determination is simply a last tally and it goes into the recount, past I expect it to get governmental again.”
On Wednesday, Trump, who endorsed Oz, said connected the societal media level Truth Social that Oz should “declare victory” and baselessly suggested that determination could beryllium fraud successful the primary: “It makes it overmuch harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to find.’”
A idiosyncratic adjacent to the McCormick run said, “Trump is hedging his stake connected Oz by throwing retired mendacious claims astir the Republican superior predetermination due to the fact that helium knows Dave is going to win.”
Fox News big Sean Hannity, a apical state to Oz, predicted Wednesday connected his vigor amusement that “under each script I person factored out, extrapolated out, Oz volition beryllium the victor successful this race.”
But helium besides sought to rise doubts astir the count, adding that “to beryllium perfectly honest, I don’t spot radical — and I’m not talking astir Republican candidates — I’m talking astir the radical that person the ballots.”
Mike Pompeo, a McCormick protagonist and Trump’s erstwhile caput of state, tweeted Thursday, “Facts amusement that the counting of valid absentee ballots is precise apt to enactment @DaveMcCormickPA connected apical successful the PA Senate race. This is large quality for Pennsylvania and for America.”
A recount must beryllium held by June 1, and finished by June 7.
Stephanie Murray, Myah Ward and Daniel Lippman contributed to this report.