WASHINGTON— On Tuesday, candidates in key races in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Colorado will face off on the debate stage as the final weeks of the midterm cycle come to a close.
In Pennsylvania, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman debates Republican Mehmet Oz. The Senate race—which features the most high-profile debate of the night— could determine which party maintains control of the currently evenly divided Senate.
Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet debates Republican Joe O’Dea and in Michigan, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer squares off against Republican Tudor Dixon. Both Bennet and Whitmer are running to keep their seats.
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The Pennsylvania Senate race is one of the most competitive races of this election cycle, as Republicans attempt to gain back control of the Senate. Tuesday’s showdown, hosted in Harrisburg, PA, is the only debate the two candidates are participating in.
The debate will last for one hour and airs on local Nexstar Stations at 8 p.m. ET.
Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke he suffered through in May, is sure to face questions about his health. He recently released a letter from his physician, who said Fetterman’s health is improving.
“He has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office,” University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Dr. Clifford Chen wrote.
Meanwhile, Oz, a Donald Trump-backed celebrity doctor, has trailed Fetterman in polling. Case in point: Fetterman is hanging on to a six percentage-point lead over Oz, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released earlier this month found.
Tuesday’s debate between Whitmer and Dixon will be the second time the two meet on the debate stage. The live one-hour debate will be held at 7 p.m. ET at Oakland University in Rochester.
In their first debate, the candidates sounded off on abortion, school safety, education, gun control measures and the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitmer has spent months attacking Dixon, a Trump-backed candidate, on abortion.
Tudor has said she is against abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. But during the first debate, Tudor said she would respect Michigan voters’ will if they vote to approve Proposal 3, which would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, on Election Day.
Although Whitmer has led Dixon in polling, that margin is narrowing. Whitmer leads Dixon by 11 percentage points, down from 16 points in September, according to a recent Detroit Free Press poll.
Bennet is fending off a challenge from political novice O’Dea, as he seeks reelection to the Senate for a third term. The two candidates will debate at Colorado State University from 7 p.m. MT to 8 p.m. MT.
Unlike Republicans running in other Senate races, O’Dea is running a more moderate campaign. He supports abortion up until the 20-week mark and doesn’t want Trump to run for president in 2024. Trump, in turn, criticized O’Dea as a RINO— Republican in name only—on his social media platform Truth Social.
In a Marist Colorado Poll released this month, Bennet leads O’Dea by 7 percentage points, 48%-41%, among registered Colorado voters.