The Fetterman campaign on Friday called the Oprah comments “a November surprise,” suggesting they could spur many voters. Although Ms. Winfrey’s endorsement of Mr. Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary is sometimes said to have helped him defeat Hillary Clinton, Ms. Winfrey’s comments in a 2022 Senate race would likely carry far less weight.
The State of the 2022 Midterm Elections
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
On Friday, a spokesman for Mr. Fetterman, Joe Calvello, called the endorsement “a devastating rebuke.” The communications director for the Oz campaign, Brittany Yanick, said “Doctor Oz loves Oprah and respects the fact that they have different politics. He believes we need more balance and less extremism in Washington.”
The Senate race in Pennsylvania is one of several critical contests on Tuesday that could determine which party will control the chamber. Dr. Oz, the Republican nominee, has significantly gained on Mr. Fetterman in the polls since this summer, leaning heavily on messages about public safety and the economy.
Polling by The New York Times and Siena College last week found Mr. Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, up slightly against Dr. Oz, by a 49-percent-to -44-percent margin. But the poll was largely conducted before a debate showing by Mr. Fetterman, who had a stroke in May, that raised Democratic anxieties. (His doctor said recently, adding that Mr. Fetterman has “no work restrictions.”)
Dr. Oz’s politics were largely unknown through his long years in the television limelight, thought he took liberal positions on abortion and gun control that he later disavowed in the Republican primary race for Senate. He won the endorsement of former President Donald J. Trump, who cited his potential appeal to suburban women who had watched him for years on TV.